Kyle Lohse is at one of those injury-induced career crossroads pitchers so often come to.
But in his case, it's an odd one — something called "exertional compartment syndrome," in which the sheath of a forearm muscle won't expand. There is said to be no precedent for a pitcher with this condition, which may simply mean it's never been diagnosed in a pitcher. (I figure there's no such thing as a new pitching injury, just more specific diagnoses and surgeries.)
So ... surgery today (Friday) and nobody knows when he'll be back, if ever.
If this is it, I'm afraid I'll remember Lohse more for what he wasn't than for what he was. In 2003 I figured he was about to take off — he had a strong stretch at the end of the season, and I thought that in 2004 he and Johan Santana would both move ahead of Brad Radke. Santana did, Lohse didn't.
He's had just one winning season since 2003 — 2008, when he hooked up with the LaRussa-Duncan school for failing veterans — and he sports a career record of 85-94 with a 4.71 ERA.
He could/should have been better than that.