Analyzing The Phillies: Tyler CloydBREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
Tyler Cloyd wasn’t on anyone’s radar before the 2012 season began.
Cloyd was with the organization, but he was an unproven commodity buried in the minor league system.
Although few people had heard of Cloyd before the season began, many started to take notice of him while he put up a fantastic season in the minor leagues.
Cloyd started the season in AA Reading, where he went 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts. He was then called up to AAA Lehigh Valley where he would go 12-1 with a 2.35 ERA in 26 starts. Although his physical skills don’t scare anyone, his success in the minors made him a popular name throughout the summer. Fans and analysts pondered whether or not the struggling Phillies would eventually give Cloyd an opportunity to start some major league games to determine whether or not his success could carry over from AA and AAA.
Cloyd’s physical limitations caused the Phillies to be a little reluctant to call him up. His fastball tops out in the high 80’s, and he’s a pitcher that needs to rely on smarts and precision to succeed.
At the end of August, Cloyd got his chance. Once the Phillies determined that the playoffs were no longer a possibility, they created an opening in the starting rotation by shutting down the injured Vance Worley for the season. The righthander got his first career start against the Mets, and turned in a quality start, allowing three runs over six innings.
Cloyd would remain in the rotation for the final month of the season. For the most part, he was fairly effective as the team’s fifth starter. He allowed three runs or less in three of his final five starts, and turned in a pair of superb outings against the Reds and Mets where he allowed just two runs in 15 innings.
Although he performed well in his end-of-the-year audition, the Phillies may not have a role for Cloyd on the major league roster when the 2013 season begins.
Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay are going to anchor the starting rotation once again, with Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick likely filling out the back end. That leaves Cloyd as the odd man out, and he’ll likely begin the season in the Lehigh Valley rotation.
Cloyd will have an opportunity to compete with Kendrick and Worley for one of the final spots in the rotation, but he’s unlikely to beat out either one of them. His best chance to start the season with the team is if the Phillies are unable to improve their bullpen substantially in the off-season. If Ruben Amaro Jr. can’t find suitable relievers, the team may ask Worley or Kendrick to move to the bullpen and have Cloyd fill out the rotation as the fifth starter.
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