Heading into this year’s spring training, the Los Angeles Angels were hoping to find additional pitching help for this upcoming season. Well, turns out that answer may lie in the form of reliever Brandon Lyon.
The Angels signed 34-year-old right-hander to a minor-league deal just prior to the start of spring training, and it may be one of the better moves made all offseason. Lyon is pitching well as he has a 2.70 ERA with six strikeouts, a .192 BAA and two saves in 6.2 innings pitched. This also includes Lyon throwing scoreless innings of relief with one hit allowed in five out of his seven appearances.
His dominance on the mound this spring training is encouraging to see from the 12-year veteran as he struggled last season as evident by his 4.98 ERA in 34.1 innings pitched with the New York Mets, who cut him midway through the season. If Lyon can keep up his effectiveness over the next five days before the season starts, it will all but guarantee him an Opening Day roster spot. The Halos are looking to revamp their pitching staff in hopes of rebounding from last season’s struggles where the team’s pitching ranked in the bottom of the league in several important categories.
Los Angeles is looking for a pitcher who can come out of the bullpen and provide shutout innings of work, and Lyon has shown that this spring training as he retired 12 of the first 13 batters in his first four appearances. He has also demonstrated that he can step in and be a fill-in closer if needed as he is 2-for-2 in save opportunities in spring training.
So as the start the regular season nears closer, an Opening Day roster pot is up for grabs with Lyon. Now all he must do is continue to show it with his arm over the next few days and he will become a member of the Angels’ 25-man roster come next Monday.