Lyles Starting Over with Pirates

Righty wants to join 'stud' rotation

Jeff Hathhorn
December 17, 2018 - 4:59 pm

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – A chance to start again in the majors is a big factor for the Pirates landing 28 year-old Jordan Lyles on a one-year contract.

The former Astros first round pick struggled to a 4.79 ERA as a starter in San Diego before moving to the bullpen and finding success with the Padres and Brewers.  Lyles ERA was 3.32 in relief and he struck out over a batter an inning.

“When I was relieving I stuck to my three better pitches, my fastball, curveball and change-up,” Lyles said.  “As a starter, I relied on my cutter-slider to get back into counts.  Being in shorter stints, I put that fourth pitch away.  I learned not to rely on it so much.”

Lyles said more than anything that taught him to be more aggressive and to attack when behind in counts with his curveball and change-up and he hopes he can take those lessons back into a starting role.

“Definitely heard many great things about (Pirates pitching coach) Ray Searage, I know that PNC Park is a great place to pitch,” Lyles said.  “I know guys have gotten things going in the right direction once they got to Pittsburgh.”

The South Carolina native says he also likes the depth of the Pirates lineup and believes in the group he hopes will be his peers in the starting five.

“A lot of studs in the rotation, one through five you are getting a solid, quality arm coming at you.”

Lyles also believes he’s with a quality organization.

“There’s no tanking or rebuilding,” Lyles said of the Pirates.  “There is always a quality product on the field.”

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