Tyler Cloyd of the Philadelphia Phillies has to be considered a prime example of why organizations cannot get too wrapped up in a good season by a young pitcher. Andrew Cashner of the San Diego Padres might be considered an example of why a team should stick with a prospect.
Both were on display on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. Two years ago, Cloyd was at the top of the Phillies’ future plans with a 15-1 record split between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley. In that remarkable season, Cloyd had a 2.26 ERA in 167 innings, which is a lot for a minor-league pitcher.
Since then, though, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander has struggled, and the latest came on Tuesday night in the 8-2 loss to the visiting Padres. Cloyd was knocked out of the game early. No one seems to know why Cloyd has lost his mojo because there have been no injury issues. This season at Lehigh Valley, he was 5-9 with a 4.71 ERA.
For the Padres, though, the future looks considerably brighter for Cashner, who pitched well in the win and now has a winning record (9-8) for a team a dozen games below .500. Cashner was a first-round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2008, but was traded to the Padres in January of 2012. He was taken out in the eighth inning on Tuesday night after 107 pitches, giving up only two runs.
Cashner did his job. Cloyd did not do his.
The Cubs might regret giving up on Cashner after the 2011 season. In 2012, Cashner was 3-4, and looks like a solid bet to finish with a winning record this season.
His future looks considerably brighter than that of Cloyd, who might have pitched his way out of the Phils’ organization now that pitchers like Ethan Martin and Cuban signee Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez appear to be ready to challenge for 2014 starting spots.
On a September night where little matters, the paths of two young pitchers crossed — one apparently on the way up, and the other probably headed out.