Yankees sign pitcher Tyler Lyons to minor league deal
For the third time this week, the Yankees have acquired a relief pitcher — this time its left-hander Tyler Lyons, who was recently released by the Pirates.
Following the Yankees 19-5 blowout loss to the Indians, which resulted in a total of five pinstriped pitchers being used, roster moves were expected. However, the fifth “pitcher” used by manager Aaron Boone was Mike Ford. A first baseman by trade, Ford did take the mound during his time at Princeton University.
Back in 2013, Ford was the first player in Ivy League history to be named both Player and Pitcher of the Year. On the bump, Ford went 6-0 with a league-best 0.98 ERA.
However, you could tell from the meatballs he was tossing to the plate that six years of rust had built up. Ford’s outing lasted two innings — and he allowed five runs on six hits (two homers).
Chance Adams also struggled mightily, surrendering five runs on five hits, including a home run and three walks in just 3.2 innings of work (79 pitches). He was quickly demoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre following the contest.
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In Adams’ place, right-hander Ryan Dull, who was only claimed off waivers from the Giants on Wednesday has been promoted to the 25-man roster.
With southpaw Joe Mantiply not working out the way the Yanks had hoped in his lone appearance — and subsequent DFA, the Bombers took a flyer on another left-hander, this time signing Tyler Lyons, whom the Yanks originally drafted in the 10th round of the 2009 draft. Lyons, instead, returned to Oklahoma State.
Although Lyons only appeared in three games for the Pirates this season and scuffled to the tune of an 11.25 ERA and 2.250 WHIP in just four innings of work, the 31-year-old did resemble his past self at Triple-A Indianapolis. Across 45.2 innings, Lyons held a 3.35 ERA, 39.8 percent groundball rate,10.8 K/9 and 0.79 HR/9.
A mainstay in the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen from 2015-17, Lyons threw 162 innings while maintaining a 3.33 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.
Following 16 abbreviated innings in 2018, the Cards cut Lyons loose due to back and elbow issues.
Should Lyons rediscover the form he exhibited in 2017 especially, when he notched a career-best 4-1 record, 2.83 ERA, 11.3 K/9 and 0.5 HR/9 in 50 appearances, his two remaining years of arbitration could be enticing enough for the Yankees to keep him around.
Naturally, that’s a big if until proven otherwise.