TROY, NY - Lefty Jared Lyons grew up admiring Atlanta Braves' left-hander Tom Glavine. Like Glavine, Lyons doesn't have an overpowering fastball, but he uses location and three off-speed pitches to keep hitters off-balance.
Lyons pitched for four years at Liberty. His first three seasons, Lyons was used mostly as a reliever. He moved into the starting rotation full-time as a senior and had his best year of his collegiate career. In 99.2 innings, Lyons had a 1.99 ERA and a 100:22 K:BB.
Since turning pro in June, Lyons has been used carefully by the A's, working one-to-two innings at a time. Lyons has struggled in his limited opportunities, but should get a more extended chance to show what he can do next season.
Donald Moore spoke with Lyons during a late-July Vermont roadtrip to upstate New York.
Donald Moore: Hi Jared, how is everything going so far for you this season?
Jared Lyons: It's going alright. Not what I expected for me right now, but I'm starting a little bit, and hopefully I can bounce back and perform well and perform well for the team.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
JL: Being successful, meeting the criteria of the coaching staff, meeting the requirements of pitching well and making sure I do what I am suppose to do and what they are telling me what to do.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
JL: I'd say it is just commitment and dedication. I make sure I work hard and hustle and everything like that. I want to prove what I've got, basically.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
JL: Obviously velocity and location. The biggest thing I really need to improve on, especially with my fastball, is command. I definitely need to improve on that.
DM: How are you adjusting to professional baseball?
JL: It is definitely an adjustment. It's kind of like summer ball, but definitely like Ground Hog day like [Vermont manager Aaron Nieckula] Nuke would always say. But it is definitely a lot of fun, hanging out with the guys and it is awesome playing baseball everyday, a game that I love.
DM: What is the best thing about being a pro athlete?
JL: Having the support of my family and friends back home and them saying they are proud of me and with all of my achievements I had in high school and college, and now the pros.
DM: Any pre-game routines?
JL: Not really. Basically just listen to music. That is usually my routine.
DM: Any hobbies?
JL: I like fishing, skeet shooting and bike riding.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
JL: The Atlanta Braves. I was a big Tom Glavine fan when I was younger.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
JL: I'd say my family. My brother mostly, coaches over the years, just gave me the heart into loving this sport.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
JL: We had a pitcher in college throw a ball and hit the guy in the chest. He swung at it, but they [the umpire] said he didn't swing. How do you not see a guy swing? I think that was probably the craziest thing that I ever saw.
DM: Where do you see yourself and your baseball career in the near future?
JL: Hopefully moving up, learning more about the game, what I need to learn and hopefully moving up in the organization and eventually to the big leagues.
DM: Jared, thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you and your future.
JL: Thank you so much, I appreciate it.