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Is Jordan Lyles Being Rushed?

Astros top prospect Jordan Lyles has not been impressive so far this year for the Oklahoma City RedHawks. He's been beat around in three starts for a 7.07 ERA, 21 hits, and has struck out just eight batters in 14 innings. Small sample size problems abound, sure, but combine that with his AAA starts last year and you're looking at nearly 50 innings of 5.91 ERA ball, with a lot of hittable balls. The question was posed to Baseball America's Jim Callis Wednesday and he answered in the affirmative:

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Ryan (Owasso): Jordan Lyles struggled at AAA to end the year last year & is off to a rough start this year. Did the Astros bump him from AA a little prematurely?

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Jim Callis: It looks like it. I don't think they're doing irreversible harm, but I never understood the rush. He was 19 when they promoted him to Triple-A last year, and the Astros aren't going to contend any time in the near future. Sending him to Double-A in 2010 was aggressive enough.

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I don't necessarily agree. Lyles dominated AA, and he also had a fairly good spring training. He probably deserves a little more time to sort things out in Oklahoma before the Astros start worrying about if they're rushing him or not. However, it is a bit disconcerting for someone with Lyles' profile to get slapped around by AAA hitters--he doesn't have dominant stuff, so if he's giving up a lot of hits, it's a pretty bad sign.

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