News and Notes: “Lyons and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”

Here’s a short and sweet edition of News and Notes covering a slow past few days:

• The Tigers’ recent signing of former Diamondbacks closer Brandon Lyon has brought about a lot of discussion on whether or not Lyon will be handed the Tigers’ closer role in 2009. My answer to that: it depends on whether they want to win the division or not. If they do, Lyon will not be their closer.

I however seem to be in the minority with this decision. As former Tigers’ closer Todd Jones thinks he will do great (and for some reason Lyon is flattered by the comparison between the two) as does Tom Gage from The Detroit News. Perhaps they haven’t seen these stats Lyon posted last season:

| YEAR | AGE | TEAM     | G  |  W-L  | ERA  | ERA+ | SO | SV | WHIP |
| 2008 |  28 | Arizona  | 61 |  3-5  | 4.70 |   98 | 44 | 26 | 1.48 |
Lyons and Tigers dont mix (MPR529/Flickr).

Lyons and Tigers don't mix (MPR529/Flickr).

Those aren’t exactly glowing stats for anyone, let alone your closer. Granted his season was a tale of two halves posting a 2.43 ERA in the first half of the season and an unsettling 8.46 in the second consequently losing his closer job. Plus this isn’t a fluke season as Lyon’s career ERA is 4.46. Again, doesn’t really put you at ease when you have lacked a real closer for years and intend on competing in your division.

Bottom line, if the Tigers are going to rest their ninth inning hopes on Lyon I have a feeling it’s going to be another rough season for them.

• It looks as if Jon Garland and the Arizona Diamondbacks are about to come to terms on a one-year deal. According to reports Garland, who won 14 games with the Angels last season, is set to make $6.25 million with the option year paying him $10 million. I’m not a huge fan of Garland and his 4.90 ERA, 237 hits allowed and 1.51 WHIP from 2008 (he has always given a lot of hits) but at a $6.25 million, one-year contract I can live with if he’s your fourth or fifth starter. I’m not thrilled with it, but I can live with it.

• Along the same lines as my first bulletin, a very interesting article was posted over at Baseball Analysts by Patrick Sullivan where he discusses yet another example of a supposed respected member of the media not taking time to research facts or statistics before making a statement. We see an increased number of these things around Hall of Fame time as every baseball writer likes to give reasons why a player does or does not deserve to get in. I, like Sullivan, like to keep these writers in check and accountable for pouring misinformation out for readers to digest. It’s a sensitive spot for me as I don’t like irresponsible journalism.

• Now moving on to a brighter subject as things are going to be changing around here in the coming weeks. Not only will I be bringing forth more features and series of articles (deeper prospect coverage, historical articles, live game casts, forums, etc) but the look of The Diamond Cutter will be making drastic changes. The site you have grown to know and love will be becoming sharper, sleeker, more user friendly and a lot more colorful. I hope you like what’s coming up as I couldn’t be more excited.

By Matthew Whipps
The Diamond Cutter
Major & Minor League Baseball Columnist | Facebook

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3 Responses to News and Notes: “Lyons and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”

  1. E K says:

    What are your thought on the Cubs trade for Heilman. I like him and think he could be a valuable middle relief guy this year. However, once again it seems like Hendry over-paid for another guy he has treasured for some time.

  2. Yeah I’m pretty indifferent with the deal. I don’t know which Heilman we will see (2007 vs. 2008). It sounds as if he will get a shot at the number five slot in the rotation but if they are smart they’ll put him in the pen (I agree that he could be a good middle reliever) and use him as a spot starter if needed. I think Sean Marshall will end up in the five spot and I hope he does.

    I do however think this is a good deal for Olson as he will get a good shot to start for the M’s with their disappointing group of starters. If he would have stayed in Chicago, he wouldn’t have seen much playing time in the majors. I for one would like to see if Olson has what it takes to play in the bigs.

  3. Mike says:

    Brandon Lyon received my ‘Ricardo Rincon Award’ last season as the reliever that comes into the game, you see his ERA and think “He’s having an alright season”. Boom. Boom, boom, boom. Four runs later….Next appearance, same thing. In fact, everytime you see him come in, he gets his arse handed to him, yet his ERA is still not Carlos Silva-bad. Lyon was HORRID. At least when I saw him.

    I’ve never understood what everyone has seen in Heilmann, he has just never impressed me. But, what do I know, I haven’t won a World Championship in 100 years, either.

    Looking forward to the new look of the site!

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