Worley to DL, Kendrick to start. Alternatives?

Two possible starters waiting in Lehigh Valley
The Phillies have confirmed that Vance Worley has been sent to the 15 day disabled list with elbow inflammation. He will be eligible to return on May 27 and he will miss tonight’s start in Chicago in addition to two additional turns through the rotation (Monday vs Washington and Saturday May 26 vs St Louis). This could fulfill the prophecy of two starters going down long term every year. Elbow problems are serious stuff.
So in response, the Phillies have moved Kyle Kendrick back into the rotation and recalled Joe Savery to full a spot in the bullpen. But laying in wait are two pitchers that have been dazzling down in the minor leagues. One a veteran, one a young rookie.

Scott Elarton

Team
League
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
AVG
LHV
INT
4
1
2.39
7
7
0
0
0
37.2
31
11
10
3
13
19
.225
.225
Minors

4
1
2.39
7
7
0
0
0
37.2
31
11
10
3
13
19
.225
.225

 

Scott Elarton was signed to give added depth to the Phillies rotation, the likely number seven starter after Kendrick. Elarton has started seven games with Lehigh Valley. He had one rough outing against the Buffalo Bisons where he gave up 8 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Other than that he has been masterful. Take out the Buffalo start and he has about a 0.52 ERA. Right handers are batting .190 against him. He’s 11th in the International League in WHIP at 1.17. Elarton’s turn to start comes up tonight against Indianapolis. We signed this guy for a reason. Should another starter go down in the Phillies rotation, expect to see Elarton get called up.

Tyler Cloyd

Team
League
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG

REA
EAS
3
0
1.80
4
4
0
0
0
25.0
22
5
5
1
3
20
.239

LHV
INT
4
0
0.69
4
4
0
0
0
26.0
12
2
2
1
5
21
.145

Minors

7
0
1.24
8
8
0
0
0
51.0
34
7
7
2
8
41
.194

 

 

Tyler Cloyd was selected by the Phillies in the 18th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Bellevue East High School in Bellevue, Neb. He also pitched for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League following the 2011 season. Last season he split time between Clearwater and Reading and started 22 games, going 9-4 with a 2.77 ERA for the year and getting 128 strikeouts. He has seven starts this season between Reading and Lehigh Valley, winning pitcher of the week in two different weeks in April. Lefties are batting .167 against him while right handed batters have a .132 avg on him. He leads the Ironpigs in WHIP at 0.65. Today is actually his 25th birthday. That should tell you enough. The Phillies are notorious for keeping the young talent down as long as they can unless their hand is forced (see Freddy Galvis). If the Phillies had the need for a number 8 starter, I can’t say with any confidence that Cloyd would get the call even there. You’d be more likely to see Jose Contreras start after Kendrick and Elarton get moved into the rotation. I apologize for giving you that image. There’s a reason though he hasn’t progressed as quickly as Vance Worley, also drafted in 2008. In 2010, the Phillies used Cloyd predominately out of the bullpen, a transition with which he had some difficulty, finishing the year with an ERA over 5.oo, spending most of the year in Clearwater after only starting 9 games. So the bounce around did more harm than help. He started more games in 2011 and improved somewhat, but so far he has been excellent in 2012. It will take a desperate situation for Cloyd to get called up as a started anytime before September this year.

But… if Kyle Kendrick does not perform adequately in his fill in starts, it is possible the Phillies could move him back to the pen and call up Elarton. Less likely: Cloyd. Kendrick would have to get shelled though in consecutive starts. And the other facets of the game, the offense and the bullpen, would have to perform well so Kendrick would have to be the only scapegoat left to blame for potential losses. Translation: Everything would have to go wrong for Kendrick and right for everyone else. If tonight the Phillies lose 7-1, it won’t really matter since there was no offense. If Kendrick throws 7 innings and gives up 2 runs and leaves with the score 4-2, then the bullpen blows it, then the bullpen blame game will roll on. I can’t say for any certainty how much of a leash the Phillies will give Kendrick, both in individual games and in the rotation as a whole. But knowing what we do about Elarton and Cloyd, they can’t just say “We use the guys we have”. Because they have two more guys in Lehigh Valley just waiting for a call.

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3 comments

  1. Phanatic Addict

    It’s a bit early for Cloyd, since he’s just made the jump to AAA. You like to see guys like that dominate in AAA for a while before they make the leap, so they’re riding a good high, and will have the stuff, and the mentality that they really are ready.

    However I do think that Elarton could be used at the ML level, if need be. Right now he’s not really much of an upgrade over Kendrick, and the Phillies have a lot of loyalty to Kyle, so much so that I don’t see them keeping him in the pen, and letting a guy like Elarton start. Especially when you see that they’re paying Kendrick millions own this role.

    Great work with the blog. When did you start it?

    Wish I had more time for mine. Life is too crazy anymore.

    • Jersey Josh

      This is a bad example, but Kyle Kendrick went right from Reading to MLB in late 2007. Granted he was back at AAA the next year but he delivered solid results and was a good rescue for a whole year. Galvis seems to have done well having relatively the same AAA experience as Cloyd.
      I’m wondering if Elarton’s return to the bigs might be the result of a trade. Either he is traded to another team or Blanton is traded and Elarton takes his rotation spot.
      I started this blog earlier this year. I try leave most of the game recaps to the pros and write on stuff more outside the box. Thanks for visiting here 🙂

      • Phanatic Addict

        I think that’s exactly what the Phillies are counting on with Elarton.

        The Phillies usually have some sort of reformation project in AAA each year. Look at Pods, and last year they had Grilli. Sadly with Grilli they didn’t get anything for him, as he’s still with Pitts.

        I gave up on game recaps as well, and just choose to comment on particulars.

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