Kyle Lobstein from the Tigers picked up by the Pirates


The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that they have struck a deal with the Detroit Tigers that will send left handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein to the Pirates in exchange for cash.

Kyle Lobstein has some major league experience pitching in 20 games with an ERA of 5.33 while going 4-10. Of his 13 apperances last season 11 of those were starts.

Lobstein was designated for assignment by the Tigers back on December 18th to make room on the 40 man roster for the newly signed Mike Aviles.

Lobstein is a young lefty arm for the Pirates to utilize in many different ways. I see this move as a way to incorporate a long reliever into the current Pirates bullpen. Looking at the relievers currently on the Pirates roster the only pitcher really fit for the long relief role would be Juan Nicasio.

Adding Lobstein to the mix gives them a lefty option who can throw some innings out of the bullpen. Of his 20 major league games played, 17 of them have been starts. He threw 63.2 innings for the Tigers last year, and could be someone who, if Jeff Locke struggles, could be in competition for a starting role.

As the bullpen looks right now, Mark Melancon (assuming he doesn’t get traded) would be the closer with Tony Watson and Jared Hughes as set-up men. Then in the middle of the bullpen you have Arquimedes Caminero, Rob Scahill, John Holdzkom, and Bobby LaFromboise battling it out for three spots. 

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With the loss of Vance Worley to the Baltimore Orioles, the Pirates will be looking for someone to fill that long relief role. Lobstein will be thrown into the mix with Juan Nicasio to battle for that long relief role.

This move brings the Pirates some more pitching depth which is much needed for any organization through a long 162 game season. With pitchers and catchers reporting in a little over two months, the Pirates will be looking to make more moves throughout the offseason that will get this team ready for another run at the National League Central Division.

It will be interesting to see with the additions of Ryan Vogelsong and Jon Niese if pitching coach Ray Searage will be able to work his magic on all of these players.

In other Pirates news, the Bucs quietly picked up Jason Rogers in a trade a few days ago from the Milwaukee Brewers. Rogers has little experience in the MLB, but could indeed be the future of the Pirates at first base. In 179 plate appearances, Rogers has a .286 batting average, a .358 on base percentage, and a 0.7  wins above replacement.

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Rogers isn’t the best defensively and is a little young at 27, but the Pirates could use him as a quality backup moving forward after Josh Bell becomes the starter. Let’s just hope the Pirates have a better option in store to start the 2016 season.