Jordan Lyles is back. Well, kind of.
The 25-year-old (it's hard to believe he's still that young) right-hander will make his first major league appearance since last May 31 when he takes the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Colorado Rockies' second Cactus League game of 2016. In two seasons with the Rockies, Lyles has turned in about a full year's worth of starts and innings, and the overall result has been much better than what he produced as a member of the Houston Astros from 2011 through 2013.
Lyles, in 175⅔ innings spanning 32 starts with Colorado, owns a 4.56 ERA and 96 ERA+. Those are very average numbers that could get better in the future if his 4.10 FIP during that time is any indication. It's just that, like many other Rockies pitchers, he needs to stay healthy. Lyles, who suffered freak season-ending injuries in each of the past two campaigns, isn't necessarily going to have control over keeping himself out of harm's way this time around, but perhaps taking it easy on plays at the plate -- such as the one that prematurely ended his promising 2014 performance -- would be a nice start.
Today, Lyles will be followed by the likes of Eddie Butler, Sam Moll and Justin Miller. Here's the Rockies' full lineup card, which features established stars, promising prospects and a certain newcomer:
One Cactus League game down. Here is the #Rockies lineup Thursday vs. #Dbacks pic.twitter.com/9FjLQRTfnx— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) March 2, 2016
And, here's how the D-backs line up:
Dbacks lineup vs. Rockies: Ahmed, Brito, Gosselin, Peralta, Weeks, Lamb, Herrmann, Gosewisch, Marzilli. Pitching: Ray.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) March 3, 2016
While there is no TV today, the game can be heard on Denver Sports AM 760 and via MLB.com. And, as always, following on Gameday (which seems to be much more highly functional this year!) is an option.