Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Cardinal advent calendar, Day 19: Tyler Lyons

PA/BF B-Ref Shortcut Name Contract Status 2013 Stat Best Known For
223 ty lyo Team control through 2019 3.73 FIP, more than a full run lower than his ERA (4.75) Being the poor-man’s Al Leiter

Tyler has had a strong season. I like where he is right now and what he brings to our club. Here is a guy who has been consistent through this season and gives us a good shot. We’ve seen a couple real nice starts from him, and hopefully we get a few more.

Mike Matheny

If you had told Mike Matheny in spring that he would give eight starts in 2013 to a minor-league southpaw with merely 135 1/3 Triple-A innings under his belt — and that he would give even more starts to someone with even less experience — he probably would’ve thought his team was on the way to losing 97 games, not winning them. But Tyler Lyons did indeed start eight games for the Cardinals and relieve in four others and can proudly claim to have contributed to the team’s pennant-winning season, with 0.4 WAR in only 53 innings pitched. Lyons’s callup came on May 22, days after left-handed starter Jaime Garcia strained his shoulder and landed on the disabled list. It ushered in a parade of the team’s Memphis talent, as Jake Westbrook had also been shelved, and then John Gast, himself a replacement for Westbrook, put himself out of action with a strained shoulder. As a result, Lyons stuck in the rotation longer than expected. He shone in his debut, striking out four, walking one and getting nicked for a solo home run in San Diego. He went on to make five more starts before shipping back off to Memphis on Jun. 22 as the Cardinals returned to a five-man rotation. The team summoned him again for a spot start at the end of July when the team played four games in three days against the Pirates in the middle of a stretch in which they played 20 straight days. The Al Leiter doppelgänger returned at the end of August, mostly pitching long relief. His season ERA belied of 4.75 belied a much better FIP of 3.73, one of the biggest E-F differentials on the staff. He suffered from a lower-than-normal strand rate, odd because he had a normal K% (19.3%, league average being 19.9%). Perhaps he can talk with Joe Kelly this winter about sequencing… tough against lefties, who had only .280 wOBA against him … Matheny deployed him with a severe platoon disadvantage, facing lefties only 27% of the time, second lowest on the team.

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