Happy to avoid arbitration and have his contract settled so he can focus on baseball, St. Louis Cardinals reliever Tyler Lyons shared that he added another focus during the off-season. On November 30th, he and his wife welcomed daughter Savannah to the world.
“I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle that,” confessed Lyons, who was on hand for the delivery. “I’m not really good with that kind of stuff. It went very well. I participated a little bit. Cut the umbilical cord. Didn’t think I would do that. Yeah, it was good.”
Now as a first-time dad, he sleeps a little bit less, but has been able to mix in his workouts with fatherhood–including changing diapers.
“It’s been easier than I thought it would be,” said Lyons. “They don’t smell or anything. That’s where I think I’m really going to have a problem. It’s been pretty good. She’s sleeping and eating.”
Lyons also doesn’t have a problem with whatever role the Cardinals choose for him in 2018–spot starter, middle relief, back end of the bullpen.
“I don’t think it really changes much for me though as far as getting ready for the season,” he said. “I haven’t been doing anything different than I’ve been doing any year past. I don’t think there is anything I will change even if there is a set relief role or whatever. I’ll go about the same way I always have – and just get ready to pitch.”
Earlier at the Warm-Up, John Mozeliak shared he views Lyons as a reliever.
“The one thing I think’s very attractive about him is his strikeout rate,” explained Mozeliak. “When you’re looking at trying to identify somebody late in a game, I think he can have that opportunity. And so I feel like we can cover innings, especially the month of April, so I’m not overly concerned about that. And so I think as we enter this it’s really about trying to identify roles in our bullpen and where we have most confidence.”
“I don’t really worry about it too much,” said Lyons. “Whatever the situation is I’m going to go into it with the same mindset, or same mentality – just try to get people out. I try not to worry too much about what inning it is, what situation it is, and keep everything the same.”
As for his increased strikeout rate, it goes back to a mind shift a couple seasons ago in 2016.
“Felt like I was kind of figuring things out a little bit, then I got hurt and missed the rest of that year,” said Lyons. Kind of slow to come back this past year. It was just one of those things you had to learn again almost. Couldn’t really fake it and say that’s what you’re going to do. Find yourself. Get out there. And actually do it. Midway through the year last year was when I started to – very healthy, feel strong again, and comfortable again. I think that’s probably when it really started to take off.”
photo credit: BIll Greenblatt/UPI