Colorado Rockies: Where Do These 3 Pitchers Fit?
High point of the season: On April 18 at Cincinnati, Lyles had by far his best outing of the season, throwing seven innings and giving up just four hits and one run that wasn’t earned.
Low point of the season: In a spot start on May 23 (and his only appearance for the Rockies of the month), Lyles gives up six runs (four earned) in 2.1 innings of work in a postponed game at Pittsburgh. Lyles also hit Pittsburgh pitcher Ryan Vogelsong in the head, forcing him to be carted off the field in one of the more horrific moments of the MLB season.
Analysis: After two brutal months to open the season, Lyles seems to have somewhat settled into his role in the bullpen. A starter throughout his career, Lyles has improved his ERA tremendously in June and July, notching numbers of 4.76 and 2.25, respectively.
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Think about this: In July, Lyles is 1-0 with one save and a 2.25 ERA. It says something for a pitcher to know what his role is and be able to adjust to it within the day-to-day happenings. As we mentioned earlier, something like this might benefit Eddie Butler greatly.
Our opinion: Lyles is the only one of the three pitchers we’ve discussed who is currently in the big leagues. Weiss has said time and time again recently that he likes what he is seeing of Lyles, including on Saturday when Lyles earned his second career save with three innings against the Philadelphia Phillies. It wasn’t the prettiest three innings, but it got the job done.
That’s what Lyles brings to the table for the Rockies. He has yet to have a completely clean inning this season in any of his appearances, where he hasn’t allowed a runner via hit or walk. That fact alone makes us wary any time Lyles comes into the game.
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We don’t think Lyles will go back to being a starter this year … and the future is up in the air if he’ll start again with the Rockies. Weiss has, in his mind, slotted him as a reliever and we think he’ll stay right there for the time being.