2013 Phillies Report Card: Tyler Cloyd

Tyler Cloyd joined the Phillies’ rotation in late August during the 2012 season. Over six starts, the right-hander posted a 4.91 ERA, thanks in large part to surrendering eight home runs in just 33 innings of work. His arsenal never featured a pitch even of average caliber — his fastball sits in the mid-80’s, barely above Jamie Moyer-grade; his cutter doesn’t cut all that much; his curve rarely fooled a hitter; and his change-up featured only six MPH of separation from his fastball.

What Cloyd did do well in 2012 was issue strikeouts (22%) and limit walks (5%). As the calendar turned to 2013, that changed in a big way. The Phillies brought him back into the rotation to fill in for Roy Halladay in May and allowed him to make six starts before returning to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. They called him up again on August 20 and let him make an additional five starts (and two relief appearances) to finish out the season as part of a depleted rotation. Overall, his strikeout rate plummeted to 14.5 percent and his walk rate rose significantly to nine percent. If Cloyd had enough innings to qualify, his strikeout rank would have been the fifth-worst in baseball, ahead of only Jeremy Guthrie, Kevin Correia, Joe Saunders, and teammate Kyle Kendrick. His 1.64 strikeout-to-walk ratio would leave him in this fine company:

Player SO/BB Age Tm Lg GS ERA
Jeff Locke 1.49 25 PIT NL 30 3.52
Joe Saunders 1.75 32 SEA AL 32 5.26
Wily Peralta 1.77 24 MIL NL 32 4.37
Jorge De La Rosa 1.81 32 COL NL 30 3.49
Edinson Volquez 1.84 29 TOT NL 32 5.71
Jeremy Guthrie 1.88 34 KCR AL 33 4.04
Jerome Williams 1.95 31 LAA AL 25 4.57
Felix Doubront 1.96 25 BOS AL 27 4.32
Ryan Dempster 1.99 36 BOS AL 29 4.57
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/5/2013.

Cloyd finished the 2013 season with a 6.56 ERA. He was worth -0.8 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference. By definition, the Phillies likely could have grabbed randomly at just about any of the other starters pitching for the IronPigs and gotten better results.

Cloyd was so bad that, even though he will be cheap and under team control for a long time, the Phillies knocked him off their 40-man roster recently and put him on waivers. After 24 teams passed on the right-hander, the Indians finally grabbed him, adding him to their squad for the 2014 season. Hopefully the Indians’ coaching staff can help him in ways that the Phillies’ staff simply couldn’t. As he stands right now, he is decidedly below replacement-level and does the Phillies no good.

As poorly as Cloyd performed, though, it wasn’t all that surprising. I refused to fail Cloyd for this reason alone, instead leaving him with a D-.

Grades from the rest of the Crashburn staff:

Michael Paul Eric Ryan
D- D- D F

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