Perhaps Brandon Lyon’s early struggles were a case of pitching through an injury, or perhaps the organization is trying to protect his image by conveying that message. Either way, Lyon will head back to Houston to see Dr. David Lintner about the vague term shoulder weakness.
Zachary Levine points out that Lyon’s average fastball has dropped from 91.6 miles per hour to 90.2 this year. While that doesn’t seem like a huge change at first glance, Lyon wasn’t overpowering to begin with. Any loss of velocity would be a huge deal for the Astros and Lyon. If it’s permanent, they may have to ride out the rest of his contract with a mediocre middle reliever stuck on the roster.
With Lyon unavailable, temporary closer duties will fall to Mark Melancon, who has been very good to this point in the season. A 1.76 ERA and a 12/6 K:BB ratio are his statistical highlights thus far this year..