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McGair: Lyon's depature signals just crowded Pawtucket's bullpen is

August 1, 2013

PAWTUCKET – PawSox skipper Gary DiSarcina found out that reliever Brandon Lyon had plans to make good on the opt-out in his contract while signing autographs on the concourse as part of poster night at McCoy Stadium Thursday.

“We knew his day was coming and he chose to take his out and see what opportunities are out there,” said DiSarcina following his club’s 6-2 loss to Norfolk on Thursday night at McCoy Stadium.

This marked Lyon’s second go-around with the PawSox. His first one came 10 years ago this month. He was on a rehab assignment, knowing that it was only a matter of time before he rejoined the Red Sox.

Those circumstances were nowhere to be found on July 19 of this year, a day that saw Lyon ink a minor-league deal with Boston. Looking at the entire picture, Lyon was simply one name in a crowded field of bullpen reserves the PawSox presently sport.

One of those possible options, Jose Contreras, signed the same day as Lyon. There’s also Clayton Mortensen, a player who began the season in Boston, and Anthony Carter, an International League All-Star. This week alone saw Franklin Morales and Alex Wilson down in Pawtucket on rehab assignments while Jose De La Torre rejoined Pawtucket Thursday.

Though he struggled in his second straight outing since coming off the disabled list, the Red Sox still think highly of lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith, who allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings Thursday. DiSarcina mentioned that recently acquired Brayan Villarreal will serve as a late-game option once he comes off the disabled list.

“(Lyon) probably got a sense with Morales and Wilson down here that there are a lot of guys,” said DiSarcina. “It was more about the lack of opportunity.”

Lyon’s final appearance for the PawSox came Tuesday night, a scoreless ninth inning that resulted in a save. All told he made four appearances and posted a 1.69 ERA in 5 1/3 innings. Lyon was with the New York Mets this season before getting released on July 9.

Follow Brendan McGair @BWMcGair03

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