PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 29: Starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 29, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
With Roy Halladay on the disabled list for an indeterminate amount of time, the Phillies dipped into their minor league system to help fill out the rotation until his return. According to CSN's Jim Salisbury, they opted for RHP Tyler Cloyd, who many remember from his mug of coffee with the team down the stretch in 2012.
The 25-year-old had a 4.91 ERA in 33 innings over six starts, with a 2-2 record and 8.2 K/9 late last season for the Phillies, which came on the heels of a breakout minor league season where he put together a 15-1 record and a 2.26 ERA in 167 innings between AA and AAA. While that performance certainly put him on the Phils' radar, he hasn't done much to improve his stock during the 2013 campaign. In 35 innings over six starts with the Iron Pigs, he has a 1-3 record and a 5.40 ERA. It's not the kind of start that anyone wanted to see considering how often teams need to call for backup from the minor league ranks.
His bad start notwithstanding, the Phillies didn't have too many options when it came to replacing Doc. Aside from Cloyd, there isn't a ton of options. With Jonathan Pettibone having already been thrust into the rotation, starting pitchers who could pitch at the big-league level were in short supply. The Phillies could have turned to LHP Adam Morgan, a 23-year-old who enjoyed a great deal of success last season between A and AA ball, but with all of six starts under his belt at AAA, it seemed like a fool's errand to call him up without additional seasoning in the minors.
And while there has been chatter among the fans and some members of the media about bringing LHP Jesse Biddle up from AA to take a spot in the rotation, it's a safe bet that the Phillies never once considered that. While Biddle is a talented pitcher, as evidenced by the fact that he is making mince meat of AA, bringing him up at this point would be a huge mistake, because the Phillies can't afford to call up a prospect before he is ready. Especially if they are looking for a short-term solution until Roy Halladay or Jon Lannan return to action.
For now, the Phillies (and the fans) will have to be content with Tyler Cloyd toeing the rubber every fifth day. He'll make his season debut on Friday, when the Phillies take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.