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Lyons joins Cardinals in anticipation of MLB debut


SAN DIEGO -- On Wednesday, Tyler Lyons will become the sixth rookie to pitch for the Cardinals this season as he makes the start in place of the injured Jaime Garcia. On Tuesday, however, he was mostly concerned with fitting in and finding his way.

Lyons joined the Cardinals -- albeit unofficially because he has not been added to the roster yet -- a day before he is slated to make his Major League debut. He found a No. 70 jersey hanging in front of his clubhouse stall and planned to watch Tuesday's game with a critical eye, picking up any tendencies he could on the Padres' offense.

Lyons said that he believes his experience in big league camp this spring prepared him well for this transition.

"I think being there was huge for me, just in being comfortable when I get in here in the clubhouse and in the game situations, facing other big league clubs and big league hitters," Lyons said. "I think being in Spring Training gives me a sense of comfort going into [Wednesday]."

Lyons, a ninth-round Draft selection out of Oklahoma State University in 2009, was 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA in eight starts with Triple-A Memphis. A year earlier, he led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with three complete games. He learned on Saturday night -- a day after allowing three runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings -- that his next start would be at the Major League level.

"I've done some things well," Lyons said, when asked about his season. "I've had a couple of innings that have gotten me in trouble, but overall I feel like I have thrown the ball well. And over the course of the last month and a half, I felt like I have improved on some things and gotten comfortable out there."

With Jake Westbrook on the mend, Lyons' stay in the Majors may be temporary. He can, however, pitch himself into consideration for additional starts with an impressive outing on Wednesday.

"I'm just taking it all in right now and excited to be here," Lyons said. "I can't really control all that. I'm just going to enjoy it and make the most of it."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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