Kyle Ryan was moved to the bullpen full-time in 2016, a move that helped him lower his ERA to 3.07 from 4.47 a year ago. He has never been a big strikeout guy, and 2016 was no exception, as he posted a 5.66 K/9. He did, however, improve his command, lowering his BB/9 to 2.43, in addition to holding opponents to just a .231 average. But the real key to Ryan's 2016 success was keeping the ball in the yard, as he allowed just two home runs compared to nine in 2015. A lefty whose fastball averages just 90 mph and throws a lot of sliders, Ryan likely won't suddenly start blowing people away. While he did a good job keeping runs off the board in 2016, there isn't much fantasy value to be had from a low-strikeout reliever who doesn't pitch in high-leverage situations, and that's what Ryan appears to be going forward.
Ryan is fighting to make the Tigers roster as a second lefty reliever during spring training, MLB.com reports. Justin Wilson figures to have a bullpen spot locked up, so the question around Ryan is whether the Tigers will want to carry two lefties. His performance down the stretch last year (opponents hit 6-for-62 against him from Aug. 1 on) should warrant a spot, but Ryan will be competing with the likes of Mark Lowe, Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey (the latter two who are battling for rotation spots as well) to make the roster.
Ryan has only made three appearances in September. His stats aren't ugly -- his ERA is 3.27 and his WHIP is 1.20 in 52.3 innings. But Ryan's 5.68 K/9 makes him a difficult fantasy play at any time. His future seems ties to his ability to handle the mop while cleaning up the messes made by others. There just isn't much fantasy value there.
Ryan hasn't allowed a hit in six relief appearances (4.0 innings) since his last call-up. He has four strikeouts, one walk and one hold in that span. Ryan has tightened up his game since the middle of July and his 2.89 ERA and 1.24 WHIP are solid. But light-throwing LOOGY has just 28 Ks in 43.2 innings of work and that means his fantasy value is negligible.
Ryan was recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Sunday, MLB.com reports. Ryan will take the 25-man roster spot of Jordan Zimmerman (lat), who was placed on the 15-day DL in a corresponding move. The Tigers figure to utilize Ryan as an extra arm in the bullpen for the short term with Bruce Rondon set to go on the paternity list Monday.
Ryan will be called up from Triple-A Toledo, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. Ryan will get the call up to Detroit after the Tigers placed Jordan Zimmerman on the disabled list with a back injury.