Lyles ran into trouble in his fourth and final inning but escaping the outing without having any runs charged to his ERA, which has falled to 0.60 through 15 spring innings. He threw 55 pitches after coming into the start hoping to raise his pitch count to 70, the Denver Post reports.
"I feel good," Lyles said. "I think where I’m at now is strides ahead of where I was last year at this time. I can say that with confidence. A lot of that has to do with my changeup, and I was working on my curveball today. I threw some good ones and some bad ones."
Lyles is locked into a rotation spot to start the season.
Lyles was able to get eight groundouts and two strikeouts during his two innings of work, continuing an impressive spring that has featured just one earned run and three hits allowed in 11 innings as he hones his split-finger changeup.
"I just have a lot of confidence in my changeup, a pitch I haven't had in previous years," Lyles said after the outing, per MLB.com. "It's another pitch I can lead on. I threw it a lot during the game but they haven't been hit hard."
Lyles is looking to improve on a 2014 season in which he went 7-4 with a 4.33 ERA and 90:46 K:BB ratio in 126 2/3 innings.
"Of my strikeouts this spring, I want to say 75 percent [of the put-away pitches] have been changeups," Lyles said. "That tells me it's a little more difficult to see. I don't necessarily think I'm a strikeout pitcher now just because of that one pitch, but it adds something for the hitter to respect. A good changeup can make the other pitches better."
Lyles has been a ground-ball pitcher throughout his career but has a 1-to-1 ground-to-fly ratio this spring. However, the changeup can allow him to put batters away and not extend at-bats.
"It was primarily to keep hitters off his fastball and create more margin for error," Weiss said. "He's embraced [the changeup]. It's become more than that. It's become a pitch he can finish hitters with so the at-bats don't get extended against him -- foul ball, foul ball, foul ball, and now you're at eight- and nine-pitch at-bats."
Lyles has surrendered two runs (one earned) in seven innings this spring.
"I wanted to throw everything," Lyles said. "I usually start out slow throwing just fastball-changeup. But I really wanted to work in everything, especially the changeup. I probably threw six or seven of those. That was the gameplan going in. That was my second most-used pitch today."
Lyles allowed no hits with two strikeouts and a walk in his appearance against the Diamondbacks.
Lyles started experimenting with a split-change last year, and spent all offseason honing the pitch. I've been working on that all offseason," Lyles said. "I wasn't paying too much attention to my curveball and cutter. I really wanted to give a bigger gap between mph."
Manager Walt Weiss came away impressed with the offering. "His confidence in that pitch has skyrocketed," he said. Weiss added that he views Lyles as "a staple for [the Rockies."
Lyles is expected to open the year in the team's rotation. He posted a 4.33 ERA over 126 2/3 innings last season.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs L.A. Dodgers|
|vs L.A. Dodgers||12.1||0||1||5.11||0||1||8|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
| 7 |
| 8 |
| 9 || 10 |
| 12 |
| 13 |
| 14 |
| 15 |
| 16 || 17 |
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2010||AAA-Round Rock Express||0||3||5.52||6||6||1||0||0||31.0||48||21||19||2||2||11||22|
|2010||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||7||9||3.12||21||20||1||0||0||127.0||133||54||44||10||5||35||115|
|2011||AAA-Oklahoma City RedHaw||3||3||3.63||12||10||0||0||0||62.0||64||25||25||4||5||17||42|
|2012||AAA-Oklahoma City RedHaw||5||0||3.54||7||7||0||0||0||40.2||41||16||16||2||6||8||33|
|2013||AAA-Oklahoma City RedHaw||2||2||5.32||6||5||0||0||0||23.2||30||15||14||1||0||6||11|
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