Astros right-hander Jordan Lyles continued his rough spring on Friday, allowing six runs on seven hits to the Braves while recording just two outs. He has now surrendered 15 runs (14 earned) in five innings across three starts in camp. Despite the rough start, Lyles told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart he is not concerned.
“I'm definitely not concerned, but I don't think anybody in this clubhouse is happy with giving up runs after runs,” Lyles said. “It's part of the game, but I think next outing I'll start mixing in my cutter and slider. I think these outings won't show up as much when I start mixing in those pitches and start going for outs.”
“When you're out there, you're still competing, don't get me wrong,” he said. “I'm not saying ‘Here's the ball hit, it as far as you can.' Guys are going to see the boxscore and are not going to be happy, but I'm getting myself ready for April, and this is spring training and I want to go into the season healthy. That's my main focus.”
Lyles, 22, went 5-12 with a 5.09 ERA in 25 starts for Houston last summer. He owns a career 5.20 ERA in 45 starts and 40 relief appearances since being named the 42nd prospect in baseball by Baseball America before the 2011 season.
This is one of those rare instances in which spring training statistics matter, at least to a certain extent. Lyles is competing with the likes of John Ely (6.75 ERA in Grapefruit League play), Dallas Keuchel (7.20 ERA) and Alex White (4.91 ERA) for one of the two rotation spots behind Lucas Harrell, Bud Norris and Phil Humber, and he currently lags behind them all. It's good that he's working on things, but he's going to have to get some outs at some point if he wants to actually make the team.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook. Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: @MattSnyder27, @daynperry and @mikeaxisa.