Day 10: Lyon throws off mound, sort of

Astros pitcher Brandon Lyon, who hasn’t thrown off the mound since having a cyst drained in his right shoulder in January, threw lightly from the mound Monday afternoon, but it wasn’t considered a bullpen session. He threw gently at less than 60 feet and will try to throw his first full-fledged bullpen session Tuesday.

“It was just getting a feel for the mound,” he said. “I’m just going to get out there and get a feel for everything and try to evaluate where I’m at after that.”

Lyon, who signed a three-year, $15-million deal in December, had a cyst visible on the MRI before signing with the Astros, but it grew enough in size in a month that it was pressing on a nerve and causing discomfort.


Astros manager Brad Mills spent a large portion of Monday’s workout in the middle of the team’s cut-offs drill, in which he hit balls into the gaps. Minor Leaguers ran the bases as the outfielders tried to get the ball back into the infield.

“We got some things ironed out,” Mills said. “I’m not going to say it went absolutely outstanding, but it didn’t go bad, either. Some organizations do things a little bit differently, and when you have guys from other organizations coming together sometimes there is some confusion.

“We wanted to make sure everything was run exactly the way we wanted to do it. That’s why we were able to take a little extra time and talk about it as much as we can. There are subtle differences that help protect us against certain things happening.”


Following the coaches’ staff meeting Monday morning, first-base coach Bobby Meacham and third-base coach Dave Clark drafted their teams for Wednesday’s intra-squad games. Manager Brad Mills said the majority of the established players, including Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence, won’t participate in the scrimmage. Several players will be pulled over from the Minor League mini camp to participate.

“That’s the last place we want to have injuries,” he said. “They’re going to be working on another field and they’re going to be working on fundamentals and so forth.”

Here is the lineup for Clark’s Crushers, which will be the home team: Chris Shelton 1B, Jonathan Meyer 3B, Alex Romero RF, Jon Gaston DH, Drew Locke LF, Wladimir Sutil SS, Oswaldo Navarro 2B, Yordany Ramirez CF and Brian Esposito C/Frederico Hernandez.

Here is the lineup for Meach’s Mashers, the visiting team: Koby Clemens 1B, Chris Johnson 3B, T.J. Steele OF, Cory Sullivan DH, Brian Bogusevic OF, Edwin Maysonet SS, Drew Meyer 2B, Jason Bourgeois OF and Kevin Cash C/Lou Santangelo C.


Didn’t Hunter hit a walkoff in the intrasquad game last year? Kind of disappointed to hear the big dogs are sitting it out. What other time will they get a chance to face their own pitching staff in any atmosphere, save maybe after the trade deadline? I could understand worrying about injuries close to October, but this time of year? Get your butts out there and get to it! Am I right? Just sayin.’

I have mixed feelings about this. Although I do understand where the club is coming from, it’ll be fun to see teammates have a friendly competition. But then again, you don’t want to see them get injured for a scrimmage game.

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