As the Los Angeles Angels put the finishing touches on their roster with the start of spring training just around the corner, the signing of relief pitcher Brandon Lyon would be a solid late addition to the pitching staff.
Last season, the 34-year-old right-hander struggled as a member of the New York Mets in 37 appearances as he posted a 4.98 ERA in 34.1 innings pitched. His difficulties in 2013 were highlighted by his 7.30 ERA in July which included allowing six runs in less than an inning’s worth of work on the last day of the month. Shortly after Lyon was cut by the Mets he signed a minor-league deal with the Boston Red Sox where he would not reach the majors for the remainder of the season.
There is no disregarding the fact that Lyon was an ineffective pitcher on the mound in 2013, but in three out of the four years prior he posted sub-3.30 ERAs while appearing in at least 61 games, striking out at least 54 batters and pitching in at least in 61.0 innings. In the lone season that he posted an ERA higher than 3.30 in 2011, his year was cut short due to a season-ending shoulder surgery that limited him to just 15 innings of work.
However, what Lyon displayed over that four-year span is that he can be reliable middle reliever out of the bullpen who can pitch extended innings if the team’s starting pitcher has a bad outing or is injured.
Although he struggled last season, there is no harm in giving him a minor-league contract with a spring training invite. It would be a low-risk move to sign Lyon as the Halos would have everything to gain if the 11-year veteran were to once again able to become a reliable arm out of the bullpen.