The Orioles have acquired lefty Kyle Lobstein from the Pirates in a deal that will send fellow southpaw Zach Phillips to Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Baltimore has designated yet another lefty, Ashur Tolliver, for assignment to create roster space.
Lobstein, 27, was designated by the Bucs after providing 25 middling frames on the year. His 3.96 ERA was serviceable, but with just 15 strikeouts against a dozen walks there were signs of trouble. On the other hand, Lobstein was as good against same-handed hitters as he was susceptible to those who carried the platoon split. While the O’s will surely hesitate to let him face any righty bats, he may well prove useful as a pure LOOGY with rosters expanded in September.
Having already placed Lobstein in DFA limbo, the Pirates had little leverage. But they’ll add a non-40-man southpaw in Phillips who can provide an option if a need arises. The 29-year-old owns a 4.45 ERA with 12.5 K/9 against 4.5 BB/9 over 60 2/3 Triple-A frames on the year.
Adding to the price for Lobstein is the possible loss of Tolliver — who may yet remain in the organization if he clears waivers. The 28-year-old reached the majors briefly for the first time this year, and has shown some promise in the upper minors in recent years. His walk rate has been unsteady, but Tolliver has struck out more than a batter per inning in each of the last three seasons on the farm.