Tyler William Lyons
- Bats Both, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
- School Oklahoma State University
- High School Frenship High School
- Debut May 22, 2013
Tyler Lyons pitched for Team USA's college squad in 2008 and made his big league debut in 2013.
Lyons was 13-1 with four saves, a 1.45 ERA and 201 K as a junior in high school in Texas and also hit .494. As a senior, he had a 8-3, 5 Sv, 1.12 record with 162 whiffs in 94 innings while batting .485. He was an All-State quarterback on the football field. Tyler saw limited action out of the bullpen as a college freshman at Oklahoma State University in 2007.
As a sophomore, Lyons moved into the rotation and did very well, going 12-2 with a 3.31 ERA. He was second in the Big 12 Conference in wins, one behind Aaron Crow; he tied for fourth in NCAA Division I in victories. He led the Big 12 with 108 2/3 innings. That summer, he was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 14 innings for Team USA. He tossed 2 1/3 shutout innings in the 2008 Haarlem Baseball Week. He starred for the USA in the 2008 World University Championship. In his third outing, he threw the final 3 1/3 shutout innings against Taiwan as the US won 3-2 in 11 frames over Ko-Chien Lin. He relieved Mike Minor in the 10th inning of the Gold Medal game and retired the only batter he faced; the US would win in 12. In the event, he allowed one hit and one walk in 6 2/3 innings and whiffed seven.
Lyons fell to 7-6, 4.07 as a junior. The New York Yankees picked him in the 10th round of the 2009 amateur draft but he did not sign, presumably hoping for a big senior season and a higher draft selection. The southpaw struggled even more his senior year, going 3-6 with a 6.06 ERA and .304 opponent average. The St. Louis Cardinals still took him in the ninth round of the 2010 amateur draft.
Tyler made his professional debut in 2011, pitching for the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League. He was 9-4, 4.50 in 33 games, including 12 starts, pitching 94 innings with 79 strikeouts and 29 walks. One highlight was a 7-inning no-hitter against the Fort Myers Miracle on August 8th. He tied John Gast for fifth in the Cardinals chain in wins. That fall, he was 3-2 with a 4.85 ERA for Peoria of the Arizona Fall League. He began 2012 in AA with the Springfield Cardinals, going 5-4, 3.92 in 12 starts, and was promoted to AAA on June 15th, joining the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. He made another 15 starts there, going 4-9, 4.28, for a combined record of 9-13, 4.13. He pitched 152 2/3 innings between the two stops, showing good durability - he also had 3 complete games - and struck out 143 batters. He led the 2012 Pacific Coast League with the three complete games. Among Cardinals minor leaguers, he tied Sam Gaviglio and Richard Castillo for 6th in wins, was first in complete games, was second in strikeouts (17 behind Shelby Miller), third in innings (behind Seth Maness and Gast) and led in losses (two ahead of Brandon Dickson).
He began 2013 back at Memphis, going 2-1, 4.47 in his first 8 starts before getting the call to the Show in late May. Lyons made his major league debut for the Cardinals on May 22, 2013, as the starter against the San Diego Padres. He gave up only one run on four hits in 7 innings to pick up his first career victory as the Cardinals prevailed, 5-3. The only run he allowed came on a solo homer by Jedd Gyorko to lead off the 7th. He also picked up his first major league hit that night, lacing a single to left off Tim Stauffer in the 6th. It was already the 11th victory (out of 30 wins) posted by a rookie pitcher for the Cardinals that season, Lyons' call-up having been prompted by veteran Jaime Garcia's trip to the disabled list. He also won his second start on May 28th, defeating the Kansas City Royals, 4 - 1, giving up only a run on 2 hits in 7 innings of work. Overall, he made 12 appearances for the Cardinals, including 8 starts, with a record of 2-4, 3.73, as he failed to win again after his two early successes. He was on a shuttle between AAA and the big leagues all season, pitching 53 innings in the big leagues, during which he gave up 49 hits and struck out 43 while walking 16. In AAA, he was 7-2, 3.32 for Memphis, with 86 K's in 100 1/3 innings. When it came time to decide on their postseason roster, the Cardinals decided to go with Michael Wacha instead of Tyler, as Wacha finished the season pitching very well in the majors, and he proved an inspired choice.
Lyons lost out for a spot in the starting rotation at the start of 2014, being sent back to Memphis where he won two of his first three starts with an ERA of 3.32. He was called back to St. Louis on April 21st to start in place of Joe Kelly, who was unavailable. Facing the New York Mets, he gave up only 2 runs over 6 innings, picking up 7 strikeouts, but his opponent, Jenrry Mejia pitched even better, as the Mets won, 2-0. He was unable to record a win at the major league level that year, ending up with a record of 0-4, 4.42 in 11 games, including 4 starts. He did better with Memphis, where he went 8-2, 4.44 in 14 starts, missing some time with an injury. He was back in Memphis at the start of 2015 but was called up to St. Louis in Maya after Adam Wainwright was lost for the season. He made three starts, but had no decisions and a 5.54 ERA in 13 innings. He went back to Memphis, but finally recorded his first big league win since his rookie season on June 13th when he defeated the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, pitching 5 innings.