Generally, when a player is reported to have a rotator cuff tear, that's bad. Sometimes, non-surgery can provide a solution and the player will rehab, but almost always, there's significant time lost. So, when Brandon Lyon initially went on the disabled list with a partially torn rotator cuff, but then came back off it less than a month later, I was a bit surprised.
Turns out, he probably shouldn't have come off the DL in the first place, as Lyon got hit hard in three appearances after the injury and is now shut down for the rest of the season. He's supposed to meet with the famous Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham to review his options with surgery.
This news marks the end of a very down season for Lyon. Houston GM Ed Wade took quite a bit of flak for signing Lyon to a three-year, $15 million deal two winters ago. That was followed by a somewhat rocky beginning, as the 35-year old right-hander had to immediately go on the disabled list and miss the beginning of the 2010 season with a cyst in his throwing shoulder. Signed as the closer heading into that season, Lyon was replaced early on by former Marlins reliever Matt Lindstrom.
Lyon was excellent in his setup role, throwing efficiently and not giving up runs. Unfortunately, Lindstrom couldn't hold onto the closer's role because of injuries and wildness, leaving the door open for Lyon to slide back into the ninth inning. He took advantage and closed the season strong, saving 20 games by the end of 2010.
This season has not been so kind, as Lyon was rocked to begin the season in Philadelphia and has never really recovered. With two shoulder injuries in two seasons with the Astros, we also have to start asking if he can be counted on at any time in the 2012 season.
No word yet on what the Astros intend to do, but since Lyon was already on the disabled list, it stands to reason that no roster moves are imminent. If the Astros do decide to make a move, it'd probably be to promote young fireballer David Carpenter and pair him with Mark Melancon and Wilton Lopez at the end of the bullpen.