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Brandon Lyon returns from DL, but won’t resume closing for Astros right away

Jun 9, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

brandon-lyon-astros AP

Brandon Lyon is back with the Astros after spending a month on the disabled list with a partially torn rotator cuff, but manager Brad Mills told Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle that he won’t immediately resume closing.

We’ll kind of ease him into it before we put him absolutely all the way in to be the closer. His experience and what he’s done in the past, we definitely want him to be that guy. We’re going to let him get a few innings under his belt and ease him into that spot.

Prior to landing on the shelf Lyon blew three consecutive save chances and allowed opponents to hit .389 with a .940 OPS off him while posting a 7.15 ERA, so not throwing him right back into high-leverage situations makes plenty of sense.

Plus, fill-in closer Mark Melancon has been brilliant, converting six of eight save opportunities with a 1.78 ERA and 27/9 K/BB ratio in 30 innings. Mills talked about what Lyon “has done in the past” but realistically his track record shows someone far more suited for setup duties than the closer role.

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