Time Is Now To Call Up Tyler Cloyd
Why not call up Tyler Cloyd?
No matter what you think of the rest of the season. Whether you think last night's 12-5 win over the Reds played difibrilator (did move the Phillies into a tie for third place in the NL East with the Mets), or whether you think it's time to start guessing and checking, Cloyd seems the fix for you.
Ultimately, dude's impressed in Triple-A ball, pretty well-known as the stage for MLB auditions. He knew the stakes. And he pieced together a 12-1 record with a 2.27 ERA.
He's done everything he can.
It's time for the next step. It's time for "The Call."
At this point, what do you have to lose?
Worst-case scenario, he gets shelled. Happens to everybody.
The fear thereof isn't a reason to shelter him.
That's what the Phillies did with Dom Brown all this time, and look how that's turned out. Brown might not be a gold glover or silver slugger or any other contender for any other year-end award, alliterative or otherwise.
But Brown has proven himself serviceable. And the Phillies needed serviceable in April.
But they sat on him, for fault of his own or of the organization. Who knows? In fairness, there were questions about Brown above the shoulders, and everything else. (Though both those questions arose after spring training and after Brown was tapped for minor league duty.)
But that can't be the modus operandi anymore.
They'll need the same serviceable from a No. 4 or 5 spot in the rotation in 2013. Vance Worley was presumed to be that guy. Then he posted a 5.97 ERA for his last nine starts (two months).
Whether he can recapture that 2011 brilliance (went 12-0 with a 2.31 ERA between June and August), who knows? But the Phillies shouldn't wait for a mushroom cloud before they cover themselves.
Same thing goes for Kyle Kendrick. Sure, he's been great in his last two starts (2-0, 15 scoreless innings). But he's been a 4.20 ERA guy in 2012, 4.38 on his career.
To be polite, both he and Worley are inconsistent. Wouldn't it be nice, then, to have an alternative for those inevitable lulls?
Ultimately, there's no way he doesn't come up when MLB rosters expand to 40 on September 1. Have to think (would like to think, anyway) he'll get a start or two when he's here.
But why wait? Why not trot him out now? Even if it means sitting one of the top three starters.
If nothing else, Cloyd seems as good an excuse as any to pluck Halladay, who looked dreadful last night, from the rotation, to preserve whatever's left in that arm for 2013.
Whatever his longshot odds, the Phils should let Hamels make a run at the Cy Young, if only to end the season with a good vibe they can parlay into next season.
But there's really no reason not to sit Lee, who, with guaranteed money and a 2012 stat line that's pretty much fixed, doesn't really need the innings.
Maybe the strongest argument here is that there really isn't a counter.
Except, of course, that it makes too much sense.