Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat. Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them. The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable. Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter. Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.
Player: Tyler Lyons
Season stats: 1-0, 8.64 ERA, 27 G, 16.2 IP, 24 H, 3 HR, 8 BB, 19 K, 5.02 FIP, 1.920 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, -1.0 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Goat 2
Overall grade: D-
Positives: Still had a strong strikeout rate, with a double-digit K/9….was not charged with a run in 18 appearances, though in fairness few of those were full innings….allowed just 26% of inherited runners to score….had a 0.00 ERA in June (one inning)….his OPS was 200 points lower against lefties….batters had a .751 OPS in Busch Stadium….had a .538 OPS against when he was ahead in the count….had a .429 OPS against when pitching on two days’ rest….the club thought enough of him to retain him in the organization after he cleared waivers in July….had a 2.49 ERA in Memphis with a .149 BAA against.
Negatives: Unfortunately, there’s a long list of them….was charged with multiple runs five times, including four in his next-to-last outing against the Cubs on July 21….righties had an OPS of 1.108 against him, so the fact that lefties were 200 points less isn’t quite as notable as it first appears….batters had a 1.274 OPS away from St. Louis….his home ERA was 5.59 and that was much better than his road mark….in three games in the second half of the season, he allowed five hits in nine at bats and walked two batters….if batters swung at the first pitch they had a 1.071 OPS….if they hit the first pitch the OPS rose to 1.909 and two of his home runs came on the first offering….the first batter he faced slashed .360/.370/.720….batters hit .480 with runners in scoring position….batters had a .867 OPS in late and close situations….allowed a .300 average in high leverage situations….gave up a 1.022 OPS with zero days’ rest.
Overview: You know how much this season from the Patron Pitcher of the Blog pained me, I’m sure. Health was an issue with Lyons some this year, but it couldn’t explain just how terribly wrong things went. When the Cardinals released him as part of the late July shakeup, there was really no argument against the move. I was glad to see that he stayed in the organization, hoping that maybe he could find what he was missing in Memphis and get another chance, but even though he pitched better (and made three starts for the Redbirds), there just wasn’t a spot on the 40-man or in the bullpen to let him get another major league crack.
Outlook: Lyons elected free agency at the end of the season and while it’s still possible he’d return to St. Louis, you have to figure he’s going to look for a spot where the road to the bigs isn’t quite as clogged. Which means that this is likely the last we’ve seen of the Patron Pitcher of the Blog. Perhaps not the title–we’ll see who gets the coveted #70 in the future–but Lyons has been a sentimental favorite around these parts since his debut and I definitely will miss him. If he returns to Memphis, great, but if not, I wish him the best and I hope we get to see him in the bigs with someone else sooner rather than later.