The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 30-year-old left-handed pitcher Tyler Lyons to a minor league deal. Lyons spent part of 2018 with the St Louis Cardinals, posting an 8.64 ERA in 16.2 innings over 27 appearances.
Lyons has appeared in the majors during each of the last six seasons, all with the Cardinals, who drafted him in the ninth round of the 2010 draft. He has a career 4.09 ERA and a 3.95 FIP over 268.1 innings and 147 appearances. Lyons has 272 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. His best season was in 2017 when he posted a 2.83 ERA in 54 innings over 50 appearances.
Lyons has held left-handed batters to a .203/.286/.320 slash line over 366 plate appearances in the majors. Right-handed batters have had more success, posting a .762 OPS in 757 plate appearances.
He should have a chance to complete for a bullpen spot this spring, and if he can get back to 2017 numbers, he will end up being a valuable low cost addition. His 2018 season was interrupted first by a back strain in May that landed him on the disabled list, then a left elbow sprain on June 8th that put him back on the DL for four weeks. So a healthy 2019 season could go a long way towards his return to prior success.