Tyler Lyons is back with the Cardinals after a three-week stint on the disabled list.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced a roster move on Tuesday morning, activating lefthanded reliever Tyler Lyons from the 10-day disabled list and optioning righthanded reliever Sam Tuivailala to Triple-A Memphis.
Lyons, who most recently dealt with a right intercostal strain after beginning the season on the DL with a knee injury, has a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in two appearances spanning three innings this season. His return means that the Cardinals’ bullpen will remain an eight-man contingent for the time being.
Lyons can aid the Cardinals in a variety of ways if Mike Matheny is willing to get creative with his usage. The 29-year-old lefty had been a starter for most of his career before moving to the ‘pen on a full-time basis last season, and Matheny has tended to avoid using him in order to save him for situations where a long reliever is needed. If given the chance to do so, though, Lyons also has the potential to be very effective as a lefty specialist (career .185/.258/.299 slash line against lefty hitters) or a late-inning reliever (.188/.273/.229 slash line against in 113 “high-leverage” plate appearances, according to Baseball Reference).
Tuivailala will almost certainly be back with the big-league club, and probably soon. This is already the fourth time that Tuivaialala has been optioned to Memphis this season, though he was optioned once during spring training and another time after serving as the 26th man for a doubleheader. In 10 appearances with the Cardinals this year, Tuivailala has generally been solid, posting a 3.27 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. With that said, he has a career-low 6.5 strikeouts per nine and 4.1 walks per nine, which is actually a career best but is still concerning.