Cardinals promote Tyler Lyons to replace Jaime Garcia

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With Jaime Garcia on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury, the Cardinals have promoted 25-year-old lefty Tyler Lyons to take his spot in the rotation. Lyons had a 4.47 ERA with 38 strikeouts and nine walks in 46.1 innings with Triple-A Memphis.

Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg:

The Cardinals’ decision to tab Lyons as Garcia’s replacement was based upon a variety of factors. The timing was ideal given that Lyons’ next scheduled start for Memphis was to be on Wednesday. Also, the Cardinals did not feel that any of the pitchers in their bullpen with extensive starting experience — Carlos Martinez, Seth Maness and Joe Kelly — would have the arm strength necessary to pitch deep into a game this soon.

Lyons, selected by the Cardinals in the ninth round of the 2010 draft, is slated to start the series finale against the Padres on Wednesday.

Rob Manfred blames Bryce Harper for going unsigned

Bryce Harper
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Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.

No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.

Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:

Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.

Manfred didn’t stop there, however.

An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?