Colorado Rockies: Ranking the 40-Man Roster: 26-30
Jordan Lyles: Relief Pitcher Points: 164 Highest Rank: 23 Lowest Rank: 32
The most experienced player in this portion of the ranking, is former starting pitcher turned long reliever, Jordan Lyles. With 144 games played and over 600 innings logged in the big leagues, Lyles seems like a seasoned veteran. However, he is still just 26 years old and has not fully settled in to any one role with the club.
Lyles joined the Rockies in 2014 as part of the trade that sent Dexter Fowler to the Astros. He showed promise early in his Rockies career by posting a respectable 4.33 ERA over 22 games, all of which he started. Lyles suffered freak injuries in back-to-back seasons, including a broken bone in his non-throwing hand in 2014, and a broken bone in his foot in 2015.
The injuries seemed to derail Lyles, and he has never shown the same control or promise as he did during his first year in Colorado. Poor depth and other injuries have forced the club to turn to him on different occasions, but his numbers are anything but encouraging heading in to 2017.
At best, 2017 could be the year Jordan Lyles identifies himself as the long relief option the Rockies have been needing. He could also provide added security to the rotation if unexpected injuries or struggles arise with the young pitchers.
However, there is a large possibility Lyles could be heading in to his final Spring Training with the Rockies. He is out of minor league options and would need to pass through waivers before accepting an assignment to the minors. If he does enough to impress the club right out of Spring Training, he could start the year in the majors, but he will have a short leash with such talent and depth knocking at the door.