The Tigers inked Brandon Lyon to a one year deal and he’ll be the odds on favorite to close out of spring training. Lyon had a solid season in 2008 but after a very solid first half as the Diamondbacks closer, he melted down in the second half and eventually lost the job. Still, the Tigers probably looked at those 51 career saves and figured that someone on the team with closer experience (if you believe in such a thing) is better then what the Tigers are sitting on.
That’ll push Fernando Rodney down into a set up role and then when Joel Zumaya comes back, he’ll be a spot reliever/seventh inning guy. It’s not a bad move, although Lyon’s numbers are hardly dominating. Last year he struck out just 44 in 59 1/3 innings, although he walked just 13. The seven homeruns are a concern. I’d compare him to Todd Jones, but Lyon isn’t quite as percise and he has a better strikeout rate.
Of course this sets the stage for the Tigers to fast track prospect Dusty Ryan Ryan Perry who’s been pretty much deemed the Tigers closer of the future. Assuming he pitches like he should, we should see Ryan in some capacity on the Tigers in 2000.