Notes from Brandon Lyon conference call
Just got off of a conference call with Brandon Lyon, his first remarks since signing with the Tigers. It’s clear the chance to close played a big role in his decision. He also said he heard good things about playing and living in Detroit from guys who had done it before, including former teammate Casey Fossum.
“After talking with him about all the places, it made me really really excited after I agreed to terms to come to Detroit,” he said. “It just reassured me it’s going to be a great place to go. I haven’t been to a different place in five years.”
An interesting remark was his view of what happened for him over the second half of last season. He said he had some trouble adjusting to the schedule of a closer, where he could work three straight days or could go a while without getting into a game.
“First half obviously went real well, starting out throwing real good, throwing quite a bit,” Lyon said. “I think the situation got to the point where I haven’t been in this role before. I just felt like I didn’t get enough work [at times] and I didn’t know how to prepare myself when I wasn’t working all the time. I think I’ve learned from that. There were times I wasn’t pitching for 7-8 days at all.”
His day-by-day breakdown backs him up on that. There were two stretches where he pitched three days in a row, and three of four others where he pitched three times in four days. But he also had some long stretches without work — a week between outings in early May, another in late May, another at the end of May and into June, two four-day stretches in June, then similar stretches in late July and August.
He also said that he got away from mixing in all his pitches later in the year and became too much of a two-pitch reliever with his fastball and curve, rather than adding his changeup and slider.
“I stuck to a conventional two-pitch pitcher,” he said. “When I started getting out of that and started using all my pitches is when I started being more successful at the end of the year.”