The Rockies have optioned righty Jordan Lyles to Triple-A, per a club announcement. Things have not gone as hoped for the 25-year-old, who missed much of last season with a toe injury. Through four starts, he’s lasted only 17 2/3 innings while allowing 11 earned runs on 22 hits and 11 walks, with just eight strikeouts on his ledger. To be fair, Lyles has been hurt badly by a sub-50% strand rate, and he’s still hovering around 50/50 in terms of generating grounders on balls in play. But his swinging strike rate is sitting at a career-worst 5.2% despite a career-high 92.9 mph average four-seamer, and advanced metrics haven’t seen much cause for optimism. (Lyles owns at a 4.85 FIP, 5.50 xFIP, and 5.73 SIERA.) Colorado will hope that Lyles can turn things around at Triple-A; otherwise, he could be headed for a non-tender. It’s worth noting that the right-hander entered the season with 4.060 years of service to his credit, so he could fall shy of reaching his final year of arb eligibility if he doesn’t return for a sufficient stretch of major league action. Lyles is earning $2.98MM in 2016.
Here are a few more notes from the National League:
- Shortstop Erick Aybar has been a huge disappointment early on for the Braves, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. While the Atlanta front office emphasized that it valued his inclusion in the Andrelton Simmons trade, Aybar has been one of the league’s least productive offensive players over the first several weeks of the season. Hopes were that the 32-year-old would help keep the team competitive and, perhaps, turn into a mid-season trade chip before hitting the market after the season. Instead, he’s followed up on a down year in 2015 with a remarkable -1.1 fWAR thus far, the worst mark in the majors by a full half-win.
- Interestingly, it’s been quite the opposite tale at short for the Cardinals, who were noted as an organization with hypothetical trade interest in Aybar after losing Jhonny Peralta this spring. Instead, Aledmys Diaz has knocked the cover off of the ball, as ESPN.com’s Mark Saxon explains. Diaz is hitting at a ridiculous .480/.509/.860 clip through 53 plate appearances, and while his .477 BABIP will undoubtedly fall, he’s also recorded only three strikeouts on the year to go with three walks. And though he has recorded five errors at short, his metrics grade out at average (in an undeniably tiny sample). All told, Diaz has already racked up 1.4 fWAR, checking in at fourth in the big leagues by that measure of total value. Trevor Story may have occupied the early headlines, but Diaz has actually been much more productive overall and has perhaps shown a more sustainable, better-rounded offensive skillset.
- Giants relievers Sergio Romo and George Kontos are both beginning to test out their injured elbows, with the latter slightly ahead of the former, as Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area tweets. Kontos is still at least two weeks away, and the club may get a better read on Romo once he attempts to throw for the first time later this week.