Tyler Cloyd didn’t have the debut Stephen Strasburg had for the Nationals, which he struck out 14 Pirates in 2010.
Cloyd didn’t have the debut Matt Harvey had for the Mets, which he struck out 11 Diamondbacks last month.
At best, Cloyd was decent in his major league debut last night against the Mets in the Phillies’ 3-2 loss at Citizens Bank Park. That’s okay for a rookie who made an emergency start after Cole Hamels could not start last night because of a gastrointestinal illness.
Cloyd finished the night by giving up three runs and seven hits while striking out five in six innings. His best moment came when he retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.
It would have been better if he was able to throw at 92 miles per hour. Most of his pitches came at 86 miles per hour, which is something he can’t get by against good hitting teams. He has to figure out how to hit 90s.
Cloyd also can’t keep putting men on base in every inning. The Mets made him pay by scoring a run in the second inning, and scoring two runs in the third inning on Lucas Duda’s two- run home run.
To Cloyd’s credit, he was able to pitch out of jams at times by throwing strikeouts. He finished the game strong by pitching three shutout innings after the third inning.
It was a mixed bag for him overall. Maybe it was nerves that got him off to a rough start, but he has to know the importance of getting off to a good start and not putting himself in a position to be in a jam every game. He has to have better control and command of his pitches.
It’s good that he is pitching now rather than waiting until September. There is nothing more he can do in the minors. He overpowered hitters when he was at Double A Reading and Triple A Lehigh Valley this year. He finished with a 15-1 with a 2.26 ERA and one shutout in 26 combined starts for Double A Reading and Triple A Lehigh Valley this year.
Now is the time for Cloyd to see what he has in the majors. He has five or six starts to prove that he can be reliable for next year.
It would be nice to see a young starter like him emerge for next year. There are no guarantees what Cliff Lee and Vance Worley can do next year; so if Cloyd can make an impact , it would be a boost for the Phillies.
It would be in the team’s best interest if Cloyd can get off to a good start and finish the year strong with the team.
It’s been quite a ride for him as he leaped from Double A to Triple A to the majors. He has handled it as well as he could by pitching well rather than get caught up about advancing to one level to another. He has kept it simple by not doing too much, but then again, it’s easy for him to do when he is pitching well.
The majors will be an adjustment for sure. Teams have video on how to hit him, and hitters will know how to adapt to him. It will be interesting how he adapts, especially when he is throwing at 80s. He is going to have to come up with other pitches to get outs. He can’t rely on breaking balls to get by.
It will certainly be interesting how he does next month as a starter. He is one of the few Phillies worth watching in what has been a lost season.
Cloyd felt good about his outing, and he should. It’s something he should enjoy since this was his first try at the majors. Still, this is not going to be enough for him to be an effective pitcher in the long-term.
The hard work begins for Cloyd. He has to make adjustments. It’s going to be a process for him. He doesn’t have Harvey’s and Strasburg’s stuff to be an ace.
He would be a good third starter if he can figure it out. That’s not a bad thing for him, and it would be something the Phillies would sign up for.