Minor tweaks lead to Lyles' effective outing

Minor tweaks lead to Lyles' effective outing

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles made his second start of the spring on Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to the defending World Series-champion Royals at Surprise Stadium, and everyone concerned was much more pleased compared to how he threw in his first outing.

Lyles made some adjustments with his approach off the rubber, and the net result was three innings of two hit, one-run ball with a walk and two strikeouts. The only blemish was Paulo Orlando's one-out homer to dead center.

"I threw it right down the middle, where I'm sure he loved it," said Lyles, beginning a comeback from two seasons racked with injuries.

Rockies' Spring Training information

Lyles worked the Cactus League opener at Salt River Fields this past Wednesday against the D-backs and allowed two runs on three hits in two innings. Since then, he's tinkered with his delivery on the side.

"Just getting downhill a little bit more. Not leaking, not falling toward the plate," Lyles said. "Staying behind it, so to speak, so I can generate as much power as I can."

So how did he feel?

"I felt pretty good," Lyles said. "We put a good face on it today. I'm pretty excited."

Colorado manager Walt Weiss agreed.

"Lyles looked really good," Weiss said. "He's made a few minor adjustments in his delivery and took it into the game. The ball's coming out [of his hand] a lot better. His curveball was better. His fastball had much better carry to the zone. I'm very encouraged by what I saw from Jordan today."

Lyles was encouraged by simply being out on the mound. He was limited to 32 starts over the past two seasons -- only 10 in 2015 -- because of a pair of strange injuries. Two years ago, he broke a bone in his left hand trying to make a tag at the plate, and last year he tore a ligament in his left toe making a pitch. His last outing of the season was May 31.

Lyles exits with injury

"That was my second year in a row and it's tough," Lyles said. "I can't say enough about [how bad it is] not being out there. It's something that you just try to take the positive out of it somehow. Overall, it was just a bad situation.

"I had a good time out there today. I enjoyed it, having some positive feedback on the mound. I'm lucky and thankful to be back out there."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.