Monday, April 6, 2015

Lyles set for '15 debut aiming to implement adjustments

What's intriguing about this great sport is the adjustments players make. Generally, what a guy's stat sheet says is who he is. He isn't going to change much. But history has shown that with the right growth and development, or the right changes, a player can reach a new level. The starting pitchers for the Brewers and Rockies, who will play the season's second game at Miller Park on Tuesday night, share dreams of becoming new men through their offseason changes.
Things to know about this game
• Brewers starter Matt Garza is entering the second year of four-year, $50 million deal. Although he posted a 3.64 ERA in 2014 with a franchise-record (among starters) .233 opponents' batting average, he spent most of August on the disabled list with a rib cage injury. For durability, Garza worked with his younger brother, Michael, a pitching coach in Southern California, on mechanical fixes.
• Rockies righty Jordan Lyles threw his curveball 8.5 percent of the time and his changeup 7.7 percent last year. But after working in the offseason and through the spring, Lyles' change has become his best pitch and he's improved the fundamentals of the curve. Lyles didn't face the Brewers this spring, so he believes he's a different guy.
• In the last five seasons, the only Rockies player to homer off Garza is Carlos Gonzalez (twice). Reserve outfielder Drew Stubbs (.313, one homer) could find himself in the lineup. Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra is hitting .538 in 13 at-bats against Lyles.

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