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Tyler Cloyd: the next Cole Hamels? Or the next Joe Roa?

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With Cole Hamels scratched from Wednesday’s start against the Mets with an illness, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. finally made the decision to recall much-heralded right hander Tyler Cloyd from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Cloyd is 12-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 93 strikeouts, and was just named the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher.Tyler Cloyd photo: Bleacher Report

Cloyd was an 18th-round pick in 2008, and did not make that much headway in the organization until this season. Although his numbers appear to speak for themselves, so did Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre Red Baron and future Phillie Joe Roa back in 2002. That season, Roa, a journeyman minor leaguer with some big league experience,  was 14-0 with a 1.86 ERA with the Triple-A club. After much speculation, Roa was recalled to the majors in July, where he struggled with the Phightins- going 4-4 with an ERA of 4.04.  

Roa is probably best remembered for starting the Phillies’ 2003 home opener, which was the final Opening Day at Veterans Stadium. In the first inning, Roa promptly surrendered a grand slam to the Pirates’ Reggie Sanders. That was the beginning of the end of Roa’s tenure in Philly. After pitching for three more teams, he vanished from the majors in 2004.

The knock on Cloyd is that he barely clocks 90 mph on the radar gun. With the exception of Greg Maddux, this isn’t something most major league starting pitchers can usually succeed with. As we’ve seen in the past with pitchers like Michael Mimbs and even Jamie Moyer, the potential for a bad outing with starters of that ilk is 50/50. But in an otherwise dismal season for the Phils, let’s hope that Tyler Cloyd can duplicate his minor league brilliance in his next few weeks with the Phillies, and possibly pitch his way to a major league roster spot in 2013.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Photo: Bleacher Report