Brandon Lyon had already blown three saves in seven tries entering today’s game against the Reds. After his work today, however, it would not be shocking to see him not get another chance for a long time.
The Astros led the Reds 2-0 entering the bottom of the ninth. Astros pitchers — led by Aneury Rodriguez, making his first ever major league start — had only allowed one hit all afternoon. Then Lyon came in and allowed the following:
RBI double. Ballgame.
Lyon has now allowed 20 hits in his 11 and one-third innings of work this year. He is just starting his second year of a three-year, $15 million deal. He is about to become one of baseball’s more highly paid middle relievers.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.