One of the Pittsburgh Pirates injured starting pitchers will begin their rehab assignment over the weekend
This season, Jordan Lyles has been a pleasant surprise for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After being signed to a 1-year deal in the offseason, Lyles has posted a 3.64 ERA and a 3.65 FIP in 64 1/3 innings pitched across 12 starts.
Unfortunately, injuries have plagued Lyles this season. After starting the season on the injured list due to a blister issue toward the end of Spring Training, he was placed on the IL again with a hamstring issue on June 10th.
Originally, there was some thought that Lyles may return to the Pirate rotation on Sunday. Instead, he will make a rehab start on Sunday while lefty Steven Brault toes the rubber for the Pirates.
This start is one that Brault has earned. Dating back to May 18th Brault has pitched in six games with four of them being starts. In these six outings he has posted a 2.05 ERA and a 3.82 FIP in 30 2/3 innings pitched.
Brault is currently on the best stretch of his career. In his last two starts he has allowed 4 runs in 12 1/3 innings of work. This includes pitching a career high 6 1/3 innings two starts ago against the Milwaukee Brewers.
It is also a smart move to get a starting pitcher a rehab start whenever you can. Chris Archer did not make a rehab start when returning from the IL earlier this season, and this led to him struggling immensely in his first two starts after returning.
In his final three starts before going on the IL Lyles struggled to the tune of a 6.92 ERA and a 5.78 FIP in 13 innings pitched. In the first of these three games Lyles exited early due to hamstring tightness. So, it is not unreasonable to believe this struggles in these three starts were due to his hamstring.
If all goes well for Lyles, then he should return to the Pirate rotation on the next road trip. Most likely in Milwaukee next weekend. Hopefully, Lyles rehab start on Sunday goes off without a hitch. Getting Lyles back would be a big boost for a struggling Pirate starting rotation.