Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tyler Cloyd's reward: A trip back to triple A

The Phillies do not need a fifth starter until May 21. They can go two turns through the rotation without it because of two off days next week. If nothing, Tyler Cloyd made a fine impression to be that guy again later.

Tyler Cloyd's reward: A trip back to triple A

Phillies´ pitcher Tyler Cloyd during spring training photo day in<br />Clearwater, FL on Monday, February 18, 2013.  ( Yong Kim / Staff<br />Photographer )
Phillies' pitcher Tyler Cloyd during spring training photo day in Clearwater, FL on Monday, February 18, 2013. ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )

PHOENIX — The decision was made long before Tyler Cloyd allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings and pitched well enough to win Friday's 3-2 Phillies loss. Reliever Justin De Fratus was put on a cross-country flight to Arizona before the game started.

"They told me no matter what happened they were going to send me down," Cloyd said.

The Phillies do not need a fifth starter until May 21. They can go two turns through the rotation without it because of two off days next week.

If nothing, Cloyd made a fine impression to be that guy again later. He threw 92 pitches and relied on a heavy diet of fastballs; 75 were either four-seam fastballs or cutters. The hardest pitch he threw was 89 m.p.h.

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Cloyd was most pleased with his cutter. He threw 31 of his 38 cutters for strikes, according to PITCHf/x data. They were quality strikes, too, and that is Cloyd's recipe for success.

Arizona did not have a hit from the second to sixth innings.

"It was a great game for me," Cloyd said. "I showed I can stay down in the zone and pitch at this level. Obviously I have to continue it."

The Phillies chose Cloyd over Adam Morgan, who is regarded as the prospect with a higher ceiling. But Morgan is just 23 with little experience above single A and Cloyd tasted the majors for six starts last September. Morgan started Friday for triple-A Lehigh Valley and compounded his recent scuffles by allowing five runs in 3 2/3 innings.

He will be in the conversation when the fifth starter decision arises in 10 days. John Lannan, out since April 18 with a left knee injury, is not expected back until late May at the earliest. A more realistic return is sometime in June.

The Phillies opted for an extra arm rather than bench bat. De Fratus, who pitched to a 1.80 ERA in 13 games at Lehigh Valley, was recalled. De Fratus tinkered with a mechanical adjustment during a disappointing spring and the results emerged in the minors.

As for Cloyd, his next outing will come with the IronPigs.

"He gave us a good chance," Charlie Manuel said. "He pitched real good and he gave us a chance."


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