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Phillies hope Tyler Cloyd's hand stays hot
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PHOENIX -- Tyler Cloyd has earned the first shot to replace Roy Halladay in the Phillies’ rotation largely because of his hot hand.

Cloyd can thank the arrival of his cutter for that.

The right-hander struggled to find his bread-and-butter pitch during the first month of the season at Triple A Lehigh Valley. He finally found it in last Friday night’s start against Indianapolis. He pitched eight walk-free innings, allowed just four hits and a run while striking out 10.

That performance was a factor in the Phils going with Cloyd over prospect Adam Morgan. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted as much.

“Everything kind of finally clicked,” said Cloyd, who turns 26 next week. “My cutter was finally there. I was able to locate my four-seam fastball. It was the best I’ve felt all year.”

The Phillies are hoping for a similar effort when Cloyd starts Friday night against Arizona in the spot vacated by the injured Halladay.

Cloyd is not an overpowering guy.

“His command has to be real good and he has to keep the ball down,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “They’ll put the ball in play on him. Hopefully he’ll take the sting out of their bats and we’ll play good defense. He’s a pitcher. He’s not going to blow you away.”

Cloyd, never a top prospect, shot his way onto the Phillies’ radar screen -- and into the majors -- when he won 15 games between Double A and Triple A last season. He went 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA in six starts in the majors late in the season. He has been inconsistent at Triple A this season, going 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in six starts.

Cloyd impressed with his poise last season. He will take that to the mound Friday night.

“It’s just another game,” he said. “Trust my stuff and keep the ball down. It’s always been game to game for me. I’ll go out there and pitch to the best of my ability and try to give us a chance to win.”

To make room for Cloyd on the roster, the Phils sent reliever Joe Savery back to Triple A Lehigh Valley. Savery won't join the IronPigs until Sunday. He has been granted permission to attend graduation ceremonies at Rice University on Saturday. Savery was the Phillies' first-round pick out of Rice in 2007. He continued to take courses during offseasons and recently completed his degree in sports management.