Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yankees Need To Sign Kyle Lotzkar

I know what a lot of you are thinking, "who?", but hear me out as the Cincinnati Reds have released Kyle Lotzkar yesterday and the Yankees should offer him a contract ASAP. The Reds designated the 23 year old pitcher for assignment along with teammate Josh Ravin to make room for Johnny Cueto and Sean Marshall to come off the 60 day DL and now the Reds have made Lotzkar a free agent. Still most of you are scratching your head why I am so excited for this so please bare with me.

Let's get the cons out of the way early, the guy is an injury risk, I get that. Lotzkar was drafted in the supplemental round, 53rd overall, in the 2007 draft and has already had a stress fracture in his right throwing elbow and Tommy John surgery. He also was in 38 innings for the big league club this season and posted an 8.05 ERA with 37 walks which is ultimately why he was released and not stashed in AAA for another season. I am not sure of his options and arbitration and free agency and all that so don't quote me on it but I am sure the stat line did not help, anyway.

Now for the good as Lotzkar was ranked the 12th best prospect in the Reds organization prior to the 2013 season according to Baseball America and has been in the top 30 in each of the last six seasons. Lotzkar was praised for his 90-94 MPH fastball and his power curve ball which were both considered to be above average. Lotzkar was considered to have some of the best stuff in the Reds minor league system and that alone is worth mentioning because it is stacked with young power pitching. The Yankees could easily stash him somewhere with a CC Sabathia 60 Day DL transfer.

Lotzkar was considered to be the second best prospect coming out of Canada behind Phillipe Aumont at the time of the draft and was praised for his projectible frame,power arm, and two or more plus pitches. While Lotzkar struggled with his ERA and walk numbers this season, seen above, he made up for that a bit by striking out 41 batters in those 38 innings with the big league club this season. While his strike out numbers seem to be right on par with his minor league career numbers I have a feeling that the ERA and walk numbers may just be an anomaly that can play into our hands. The Reds just gave up on a guy that has a career, granted in the minor leagues, 10.5 K/9 ratio and a 4.7 BB/9 ratio and I think the Yankees should put him in the bullpen this season or at the very least, if possible, in AAA to replace possible Rule 5 draft guys like Chase Whitley and Tommy Kahnle. I see Lotzkar as the 2014 version of Preston Claiborne or Shawn Kelley, get it done Cash while I start typing out his Meet A Prospect post.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)