The torch could have been passed to him instead. Brandon Lyon has 11 years and 79 saves on his baseball résumé.

But with Frank Francisco out (elbow inflammation), manager Terry Collins handed the closer’s job to Bobby Parnell and the eighth-inning spot to Lyon.

And Lyon is OK with that for now.

"Obviously he knows what Bobby can do," Lyon said Thursday morning in the Tradition Field clubhouse. "He’s been here. I’m new here. [Collins] didn’t really talk much about it, but I understand where he’s coming from. He knows what Bobby’s capable of doing."

Lyon is trying not to get too bogged down on what his role will be, especially not this early in spring training. If Collins wants him for the eighth, then sure, he would love to pitch the eighth.

"Obviously you want to pitch in those big situations, late in games, and feel like your role is the type of role that helps the team win those close, tight games," Lyon said.

On Thursday, Collins said that if Francisco is still hurt in April, he will use Lyon as his closer when Parnell needs a breather.

"Those quality veteran guys, they aren’t intimidated by situations," Collins said. "He’s been in every one you could possibly have. He’s closed. He’s pitched in the middle. He’s not intimidated by anybody who walks into that batter’s box."

"I’m happy with whatever," Lyon said. "I just want to be out there and play."