Until going down with a knee injury in July, all signs had been pointing up for Tyler Lyons. After throwing pitching to a 5.19 ERA in the first month of the season, he posted a lower ERA in each of the following months while increasing his strikeout rate along the way, culminating in a career-best 3.38 ERA and 1.02 WHIP over 48 innings. He showed incredible stamina and versatility from the bullpen before going down with the injury. While his 24.6 percent strikeout rate is incredibly intriguing, prospective owners should be wary of home runs, as Lyons has yielded 1.5 HR/9 over the last two years. After undergoing knee surgery in early November, Lyons faces a five- to six-month recovery window, putting his availability for the start of the regular season in jeopardy. Once he's ready to return, he'll likely reprise his role in the Cards' bullpen.
Lyons (knee) made his spring debut in Sunday's Grapefruit League victory over the Braves, giving up two earned runs on two hits and one walk. He also recorded a strikeout. The good news was that the 29-year-old reliever made it back into game action well ahead of Opening Day. However, he struggled with his command. Lyons issued a free pass to Freddie Freeman to start things off before allowing Matt Kemp and Jace Peterson to smack two-baggers, followed by Nick Markakis driving in a run on a groundout. The lefty is working back from offseason knee surgery and was an important component of the Cardinals' bullpen in 2016, generating a 3.38 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 46:14 K:BB over 30 appearances.
Lyons (knee) threw his second live batting practice session of the week Thursday as he continues to rehab from offseason right knee surgery, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports. Lyons underwent surgery in November, but still does not have full mobility in his knee. The Cardinals are unsure if the 28-year-old will see Grapefruit League action, but will continue to closely monitor him. The left-hander has proved himself a serviceable member of St. Louis' bullpen, with a 2.69 ERA in 50 career appearances in that role, but has not pitched since July 30.
Lyons threw to hitters this week for the first time since his November knee surgery, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. It's another incremental step in the recovery process for Lyons. The left-hander has been steadily increasing his pitching activities this spring and could potentially make his Grapefruit League debut within the coming weeks. After posting a 3.38 ERA and a 46:14 K:BB last season, he's expected to serve a key role in the Cardinals bullpen upon his return.
Lyons continued his rapid progress from November knee surgery by playing low-intensity catch twice this week, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. "I'm definitely happy with where we're at," Lyons said. "I feel like every day stuff gets a little easier. Barring anything unforeseen, I'll keep progressing here on the mound." The 28-year-old southpaw, who last pitched on July 30 against the Marlins, appears to be firmly on track to seeing some live Grapefruit League action in March. Lyons had added more leg exercises to his workouts in recent days before taking the mound for the first time Wednesday, and he appears set to potentially ramp things up another notch next week. He projects to serve as a valuable lefty presence out of the bullpen, a role that he's enjoyed success in thus far in his career (2.69 ERA over 50 appearances).
Lyons (knee) will be limited during the start of spring training, but could progress to mound work in about two weeks, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Lyons, who was given a projected timetable of five-to-six months after undergoing knee surgery in early November, looks as though he's nearing the finish line of his recovery progress, but he'll still behind the Cardinals' other healthy pitchers when camp begins next week. He's been able to do some aggressive running and cutting and seems to be regaining mobility, so there's still a chance that he might be able to avoid the 15-day DL to begin the 2017 season. Lyons is expected to vie for a long-relief role once he's back to full strength.