With just two days left before the MLB trade deadline, the Brewers acquired right-hander Jordan Lyles from the Pirates. The Brewers sent right-handed minor league pitcher Cody Ponce to Milwaukee in the deal. The teams both announced the trade on Monday.
In 17 starts with the Pirates this season, Lyles has gone 5-7 with a 5.26 ERA in 17 starts. Lyles will be familiar with Milwaukee since the Brewers acquired the 28-year-old as a bullpen piece last season from the Padres. He pitched 11 games in relief (3.31 ERA, 16.1 IP) for Milwaukee last season. Lyles is an extra arm to add for the Brewers, who are dealing with plenty of injuries. Brandon Woodruff will miss at least another month with an oblique strain and both Jhoulys Chacin and Jimmy Nelson are on the injured list as well.
For the time being, Milwaukee could use Lyles as a starter. But as of late, Lyles has struggled immensely. In his last nine starts, Lyles has a 9.57 ERA. That’s a big drop compared to the 1.89 ERA he had in his first eight starts on the season.
The Brewers may believe that he can bounce back or they may not even be as focused on his ERA. Considering Lyles’ career-high strikeout rates, there’s still a possibility that he can perform as well as he did at the beginning of this season.
Ponce, 25, was Milwaukee’s second-round selection (55th pick overall) in the 2015 MLB Draft. The right-hander has a 3.29 ERA with 44 strikeouts. Ponce is 1-3 with one save in 27 relief appearances (it’s his first season pitching only in relief) with Double-A Biloxi this season.
Entering Monday, the Brewers (56-51) are just one game back of the Cubs and Cardinals for first place in the National League Central. The defending NL Central champs seem to be low-key buyers at this year’s trade deadline.