The Texas Rangers have informed pitcher Jordan Lyles he will not be used in a traditional starter role, per Evan Grant on Twitter. Evan says manager Chris Woodward has informed Lyles he would be used in 50-60 pitch outings, at least to start the year.
Lyles, 30, is already entering his 11th year in the majors, and has had an up-and-down career. The Rangers signed him to a two year, $16 million deal after the 2019 season, and it seemed like an odd commitment to a guy based on two good months with the Milwaukee Brewers to end the season. Lyles was awful in 2020, putting up a 7.02 ERA and pitching behind an opener a few times, but given the lack of other viable options, particularly after Lance Lynn was traded, Lyles seemed like a safe bet to start the season in the rotation.
He may still be in the rotation, but if he is, it would apparently be in a tandem or piggyback role, which the Rangers have indicated they might use in one or two rotation spots in 2021. The Rangers could opt to pair him with a left handed pitcher whose innings will be limited this year — say, Taylor Hearn — or he could just end up in a long relief role.