Cloyd’s Debut & Utley’s Big Idea
A very excited and nervous Tyler Cloyd took the mound for the Phillies last night. His major league debut would eventually end in a 3-2 loss to the Mets, but the rookie was still happy just to be there.
With Vance Worley finally put on the DL and expected to have elbow surgery, Cloyd will get a few more shots at a win. He told reporters, “It’s an awesome feeling that they’re going to let me stay up here and show what I can do.”
Cloyd allowed 3 runs in his debut over 6 innings and walked 2 batters. Much of his early struggle appeared to be nerves. But once he settled down, Cloyd looked pretty good, despite his lower than average fastball. His location was good and his breaking pitches had some nice, late movement on them.
The bad news is, the Phillies have now dropped 2 games in a row to the lowly Mets. Depressing.
There was some other near earth-shattering news yesterday as well. Chase Utley began taking ground balls at 3rd base and later told the media that he asked GM Ruben Amaro Jr. if he could give 3rd base a try. Amaro figured, why not?
Utley is apparently trying to help the team solve the current 3rd base issue. With Placido Polanco constantly having back issues and likely not returning next year, the Phillies need a 3rd baseman. They seem to view Kevin Fransden as a utility guy, although he has played very well at the hot corner.
As for Utley, we all know his is Superman already (except for those bum knees, of course). But he has not played 3rd base in 10 years, since his time in the minors. He told reporters, “I figured I’d give it a try just to get back over there, get my feet wet, just get a feel for the position again.“
This brings up many questions. Would 3rd base be less taxing on Utley’s knees? I doubt it. Does he have the arm strength for the position? Maybe, maybe not. Couldn’t the Phillies try Freddy Galvis there? He adjusted well going from short to 2nd, so maybe 3rd is not a huge leap.
It is nice to see Utley offering to take on something new for the better of the team. Whether or not that is a realistic option remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the Phillies have to try not to get swept by the Mets this afternoon. Game time is 1:05pm.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography