Lyon charged with closing duties

Lyon charged with closing duties

HOUSTON -- Veteran right-hander Brandon Lyon figures to get the lion's share of the Astros' save opportunities until Matt Lindstrom is able to find some consistency and re-establish himself in a relief role outside of the back end of the bullpen.

Lindstrom was temporarily removed from the closer's role on Tuesday after a series of struggles, some of which were because of a back problem he's been dealing with. Lyon didn't close Tuesday's game because he had pitched six of the previous seven games, but he's not worried about what role manager Brad Mills chooses to use him in.

"I'm going to go out there and do what I can to help the team win," he said. "Whatever situation they call on me, I'll be ready. If they call me earlier, then I'll be ready then, too. For me, it doesn't matter."

Lyon, who signed a three-year, $15-million deal with the club in December, is certainly capable of handling the closing duties, considering he has 58 career saves, including 26 with Arizona in 2008 and four with the Astros this season.

"Matty has been battling with back injuries and trying to figure things out," Lyon said. "He just needs to get out there in situations he doesn't have to think as much as just go throw the ball. I've talked to him about it, and we've been back and forth all year. It's a matter of him going out there and putting things out of his mind and throwing the ball again.

"He'll be fine. I know him. He's a great pitcher and has good stuff. It's a tough situation any time you feel you got demoted, but it's not a demotion. He's not going anywhere. He's still in the big leagues. ... It's good for everybody to go through a [tough] period and make adjustments and have to battle back through it."