Milwaukee Brewers: I was wrong about you Jordan Lyles

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 03: Jordan Lyles #23 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Miller Park on September 03, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 03: Jordan Lyles #23 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Miller Park on September 03, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Milwaukee Brewers have gotten incredible production out of Jordan Lyles since acquiring him. It’s a lot more than I ever would have thought he could bring.

When the Milwaukee Brewers acquired Jordan Lyles from the Pirates back in July, I was one of many critics of the deal. At the time, Lyles was struggling mightily in the Pirates rotation, and it didn’t seem to make much sense to add him to an already struggling Brewers rotation.

Lyles succeeded in Milwaukee in 2018 as a reliever, and with this year’s struggles as a starter, I believed that the bullpen was the best place to put him. But he was put in the Brewers rotation, and he’s been electric ever since.

I’m sorry, Jordan Lyles. I’m sorry I didn’t believe in you.

Jordan Lyles with the Brewers

On Tuesday night, Lyles with 6.1 IP against a powerful Astros lineup, giving up just two runs on six hits. Lyles threw just 78 pitches when he was pulled in the 7th inning.  He earned the win and outdueled Zack Greinke. It’s just the latest in a string of great starts from Lyles as a Brewer.

Of Lyles’ seven starts with the Brew Crew, he gave up one earned run or less in five of them. The other two starts, giving up two runs here against the Astros, and a four inning, five run performance against Washington, that the Brewers won 15-14 in extras.

This also includes his game on August 23rd against the Arizona Diamondbacks where Lyles went six innings without giving up a hit.

The Milwaukee Brewers are now 6-1 in Lyles’ seven starts with the team.

I was wrong

I thought Lyles was going to be a useless addition to this team that wouldn’t add any value whatsoever. In his last start for the Pirates, Lyles went 1.2 IP and gave up eight runs, five of them earned. He gave up seven earned runs in back-to-back starts to begin July. It’s hard to blame me for thinking Lyles simply didn’t have what it takes to be a starting pitcher.

But I was wrong. The Milwaukee Brewers have made the right adjustments to him since he got here, and he’s been a solid addition to this rotation.

Is this success sustainable?

That depends on how much faith you put in peripheral statistics. Lyles is currently thriving off an extremely low .203 opponent BABIP. While his 2.56 ERA is nice, his 4.55 FIP and 5.07 xFIP indicates an upcoming regression.

Despite all of that, Lyles has outpitched his peripheral stats so far, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he continued to do so. Last year, Wade Miley had poor peripheral stats that all pointed to a regression to the mean, but it never happened for him, for whatever reason. Through the whole season and postseason, Miley pitched well, defying his FIP, xFIP, and BABIP numbers. So why can’t Lyles?

I didn’t think Lyles made sense to add to the rotation at the time of his acquisition. But to Lyles’ credit and the Brewers credit, he’s done an incredible job. He’s proved me wrong, and to that, I tip my cap. Here’s to you Jordan Lyles, keep it going.

Next. J.P. Feyereisen Acquired From Yankees. dark

The Milwaukee Brewers are still going to need more than Jordan Lyles if they’re going to make a run into the playoffs.