Pirates Acquire Kyle Lobstein
By Ben Hamrick
In a minor move, the Pirates acquired LHP Kyle Lobstein from the Tigers for cash. Lobstein had recently been designated for assignment by the Tigers to make room for infielder Mike Aviles. This appears to be a depth move (or a band-aid move depending on your point of view). In his major league career, Lobstein has not fared well, posting a 5.33 ERA with a very low strikeout to walk ratio. For the most part, Lobstein could see time as minor league depth in Indianapolis, or as a left-handed specialist similar to Antonio Bastardo earlier last year.
One benefit of trading for Lobstein is his ability to start and come out of the bullpen. With the Tigers, he appeared in both roles and despite the poor ERA, still produced semi-quality results. It is very possible he could become a key project for Ray Searage this offseason, depending upon the moves the Pirates make closer to Spring Training.
The Pirates could potentially control Lobstein for another five years if he figures to be in their plans for that long. At age 26, he’s still young enough to be a serviceable player and a piece for the future. On the other hand, he could very well just be a brief roster spot, much like Allen Webster. At this time, its hard to say if Lobstein could be an option down the road, considering the Pirates interesting moves this offseason.