Cardinals Spring Training: St. Louis options Tyler Lyons to minor-league camp

The southpaw starter will fulfill his opening-day destiny as a starting pitcher for the Memphis Redbirds.

A little while ago, the Cardinals began using lefthander Tyler Lyons in one-inning spurts during spring-training exhibitions even though he was a starter. The rumblings were that manager Mike Matheny was considering Lyons as a potential reliever. The idea of Lyons in the opening-day bullpen never made any sense for a couple of reasons:

1) The Cardinals already have two lefties earmarked for the opening-day bullpen.

LOOGY Randy Choate and flamethrower Kevin Siegrist are already surefire opening-day bullpenners. Clubs usually allot just two relief spots to southpaws. The reason being that there are fewer lefthanded batters to play the match-ups with in the later innings. While Lyons (and Siegrist) have the stuff to get out lefties and righties alike, there isn't much sense going with a third portsider when you could go with another righty who is death to like-handed batsmen, especially with ROOGY Pat Neshek appearing more and more likely to be awarded a spot in the St. Louis pen come opening day.

2) The Cardinals need starting-pitcher depth.

Currently, righthanders Joe Kelly and Carlos Martinez are competing to fill the No. 5 starter spot in the opening-day St. Louis rotation. The loser of this competition appears destined for the bullpen and a role in the late innings—meaning that he likely won't be available to start in the event that another starter suffers an injury. So the Cards need someone to fill the proverbial No. 6 starter role. While Tim Cooney impressed some in spring camp, there's no indication that he's currently ready to start in the majors. Lyons is. That's why the Cardinals are sending him to minor-league camp to stretch out for the Memphis rotation. He will fulfill his opening-day destiny: the break-glass-in-case-of-injury starter.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat reporter Derrick Goold's tweet that the organization had reassigned Lyons to minor-league camp so he could stretch out for starting in Memphis came as little surprise, especially in the wake of Lyons' springtime struggles (6 SO, 4 BB, and 13 ER in 8 IP). It was a matter of when, not if. Because Lyons is on the St. Louis 40-man roster, the move includes the use of an option.

Cardinals MLB Camp Spring Training Roster Matrix (thru 3/19)

IF

OF (& NRI C)

SP

RP

C - Y. Molina

$14.2MM

LF - M. Holliday

$17MM

LHP - J. Garcia

$7.875MM

RHP - J. Motte

$7.5MM

1B - M. Adams

$500K

CF - P. Bourjos

$1.2MM**

RHP - A. Wainwright

$19.5MM

LHP - R. Choate

$3.0MM

2B - K. Wong

$500K

RF - A. Craig

$2.75MM

RHP - L. Lynn

$513K

RHP - T. Rosenthal

$500K

3B - M. Carpenter

$504K

OF - J. Jay

$3.25MM

RHP - M. Wacha

$500K

LHP - K. Siegrist

$500K

SS - J. Peralta

$13.25MM

OF - S. Robinson

$500K

RHP - S. Miller

$500K

RHP - S. Maness

$500K

C - T. Cruz

$500K

OF - R. Grichuk

MiLB

RHP - J. Kelly

$500K

RHP - C. Martinez

$500K

IF - M. Ellis

$5.25MM

OF - J. Butler

MiLB

RHP - S. McGregor

MiLB

LHP - S. Freeman

MiLB

IF - D. Descalso

$1.29MM

OF - S. Piscotty

MiLB

LHP - T. Lyons

MiLB

RHP - K. Butler

MiLB

IF - P. Kozma

$500K

C - E. Easley

MiLB

LHP - T. Cooney

MiLB

RHP - J. Rondon

MiLB

IF - G. Garcia

MiLB

OF - J. Ramsey

MiLB

RHP - K. Heyer

MiLB

RHP - P. Neshek

MiLB

IF - L. Mateo

MiLB

OF - R. Ortega

MiLB

RHP - B. Whiting

MiLB

RHP - J. Almarante

MiLB

IF - S. Moore

MiLB

OF - M. O’Neill

MiLB

LHP - M. Gonzales

MiLB

LHP - L. Stoppelman

MiLB

1B - X. Scruggs

MiLB

OF - O. Taveras

$500K

RHP S. Gaviglio

MiLB

RHP - A. Castro

MiLB

3B - P. Wisdom

MiLB

C - T. Tartamella

MiLB

RHP Z. Petrick

MiLB

RHP - E. Fornataro

MiLB

C- A. Perez

MiLB

C - C. Rasmus

MiLB


LHP - L. Stoppelman

MiLB


C - C. Kelly

MiLB




C. - C. Stanley

MiLB



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