Jordan Lyles’ veteran presence guiding Orioles’ pitching staff: ‘He wants to give everything he can’

Whenever Orioles reliever Joey Krehbiel passes by one of his teammates completing an interview, he asks — with a perfect blend of sincerity and sarcasm — whether they said his name. As reporters surrounded Jordan Lyles’ locker in Baltimore’s clubhouse Wednesday minutes after he finished off a complete game, the 31-year-old right-hander yelled out, “Joey Krehbiel!”

It was just another case of him picking up a member of the Orioles’ bullpen.

The lone veteran on Baltimore’s pitching staff, Lyles has served as an exemplar for its inexperienced members. Wednesday night’s nine-inning performance against the Detroit Tigers served as the latest showcase.

“He’s our leader, basically,” rookie starter Kyle Bradish said. “We call him Dad. That’s the running joke, even though he’s not too much older than us, but he’s got that experience.”

Lyles entered this season with just over 10 years of major league service time, twice as much as every other current member of the Orioles’ rotation combined. That status alone has earned him respect in Baltimore’s clubhouse, but the way he’s performed on the mound has impressed his teammates, as well.

He has not been an overwhelmingly dominant pitcher, but his 170 innings are the most an Oriole has thrown in manager Brandon Hyde’s four seasons. After Wednesday’s one-run outing, his ERA is a modest 4.50, an exact match for the result of a baseline quality start of three earned runs over six innings. Including Wednesday, his 12 quality starts are twice as many as an other Baltimore pitcher this season and tied with John Means for the most in a Hyde-led campaign.

Lyles said earlier this season he desires to pitch deep into games “for the boys,” meaning his fellow pitchers and particularly those in the bullpen, many of whom are going through the grind of a full major league season for the …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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