The St. Louis Cardinals lost a reliever who’s quietly been invaluable for them during 2016.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Derrick Goold first relayed following Tuesday night’s game, the St. Louis Cardinals have placed lefthanded reliever Tyler Lyons on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his knee. Though Lyons has flown under the radar a bit this year, this is a major loss for the Cardinals’ bullpen.
Lyons has been the “utility guy” of the Cards’ ‘pen during 2016. He’s filled the long relief role better than anyone, throwing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief on two separate occasions, and he’s been death on lefties this year, holding them to a .156 average and 0.75 WHIP. While he’s rarely been used in high-pressure situations, the Cardinals will need several relievers to cover the many different situations that Lyons would usually pitch in.
It stands to reason that the Cardinals will recall lefty Dean Kiekhefer to take Lyons’ place on the roster. Kiekhefer, who was optioned on Tuesday when the Cardinals activated newly-acquired Zach Duke, had spent the previous week in the majors. Kiekhefer, who has a 0.82 WHIP against lefties this year, could replace Lyons as the closest thing to a “lefty specialist” that the Cardinals have, freeing up Duke and Kevin Siegrist to face hitters on both sides during the late innings. Obviously, the Cardinals will miss Lyons’ ability to throw extended innings when necessary, but one long reliever should be sufficient, and the Cardinals have that guy in Jerome Williams.