Tyler Lyons sent down to Memphis to start

The St. Louis Cardinals' move to return left-hander Tyler Lyons to Triple-A was not a surprise.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced following Wednesday's game that they have optioned pitcher Tyler Lyons to their Triple-A Memphis affiliate.

Though it may have been represented that the left-hander was in the hunt for the long relief job with the major league staff, the on-going high level of competition between Joe Kelly and Carlos Martinez seems to have entirely closed off that avenue.

Then there is the matter of Lyons' diminished effectiveness this spring. After yielding just one earned run over his first three outings, totaling five innings, things turned sour. Lyons had a seven-run and a five-run game in two of his most recent three appearances – in just two total innings of work.

In what became his final spring outing, on Monday, Lyons came in with two out in the fourth and promptly balked in a run charged to Shelby Miller. In his full inning of work, the 26-year-old yielded five runs of his own on a walk and five hits, including a double and home run.

Overall this spring, over those eight frames, Lyons' ERA is 14.63. He struck out six, but walked four. Especially damaging was three home runs allowed. Opposing batters hit a collective .368 against him.

As a result, Lyons will more than likely headline the Triple-A rotation for a second season.

With this move, the Cardinals have 33 40-man roster players and seven non-roster invitees remaining in Major League Camp.

To see the Cardinals entire 40-man roster and non-roster spring training invitees, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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