Update, 5:41 PM: It now seems that Joe Kelly will be activated from the disabled list to start Friday’s game, so Tyler Lyons will likely provide extra insurance in the bullpen, rather than starting Friday.
The St. Louis Cardinals made a couple of corresponding moves on Monday, sending down rookie lefthanded pitcher Marco Gonzales and recalling lefty Tyler Lyons from Triple-A Memphis. Lyons will start the Cardinals’ Friday night game against the Milwaukee Brewers, which would have been started by Gonzales had he remained with the club.
Lyons’ stint with the big-league club figures to be short-lived, as the Cardinals only have one start left to fill before righthander Joe Kelly returns to the starting rotation following the All-Star break. Lyons, who started four major-league games earlier in the season, has been pretty ineffective since returning to the Memphis rotation in late June, and the Cardinals will hope that he finds a stroke of luck on Friday night.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first-round pick in the 2013 draft, showed that he still has some things to work on before he’s ready to be a full-time member of the big-league rotation. He had his most effective start of the year yesterday, giving up one earned run over 4.2 innings, but he really had to labor through it, throwing 66 strikes on 109 pitches through 4.2 innings and walking five batters. Over his first three major-league starts, Gonzales posted a 7.07 ERA, a 2.29 WHIP, and a .344 opponent batting average while striking out 10 and walking 11 in 14 innings.
While Gonzales is leaving the big-league club for now, the Cardinals apparently thought enough of his performance that they were willing to send him to Triple-A, rather than returning him to the Double-A team he was recalled from two weeks ago. If Gonzales develops his stuff and performs well at Memphis, we could definitely see him return later this season, much like his first round predecessor Michael Wacha did during 2013.