Explorers Sign Former Big Leaguer Tyler Cloyd
Sioux City, IA– The Sioux City Explorers today have announced the signing of RHP Tyler Cloyd. This will be Cloyd’s 13th season of professional baseball and his first with the Sioux City Explorers.
Cloyd is a native of nearby Papillion, Nebraska pitched collegiately with the Mavericks of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Cloyd enjoyed tremendous success at UNO, he was named the North Central Conference pitcher of the year in both of his collegiate seasons in 2006 and 2007. He would be drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 18th round of the 2008 MLB draft.
His first few years in the Phillies organization were spent in the rookie and A ball levels. In only his second season, with Class A, Lakewood in 2009 he would be selected to the South Atlantic League midseason All-Star team. He earned the honor by posting a 7-3 record in 14 starts with a 3.05 ERA, and those numbers would earn him a promotion to High-A Clearwater.
In 2011 the Phillies began to notice Cloyd’s talent as he was twice named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week, with both weeks coming in August of that season with Double-A Reading. In 17 starts with Reading he had a 2.78 ERA and a 6-3 record, tossing 106.2 innings striking out 99 while walking just 15.
Heading into the 2012 season Cloyd surprisingly began his season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Due to a last minute suspension he was named the emergency starter on opening day for the IronPigs and tossed six perfect frames with eight strikeouts. Despite the impressive start he was sent back to Double-A but needed only four starts and a 1.80 ERA to get earn the permanent promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. With the IronPigs, Cloyd made 22 total starts, held down a league leading 2.35 ERA and racked up a 12-1 record. Over 142 innings he walked only 38 batters while punching out 93. Of his 26 minor league starts that season, he went at least six innings deep in 25 of them. For his efforts he was named the starting pitcher for the International League All-Star Team and an International League postseason All-Star. The awards did not stop there however as he was also named the International League Pitcher of the Year and won the Paul Owens Award as the best pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies minor league system.
Winning an award such as that means that the major league club had their eyes on him and the Phillies certainly did. They would select his contract from Lehigh Valley on August 29th when scheduled starter Cole Hamels came down with an illness. Cloyd made his major league debut that night against the New York Mets taking the loss despite earning the quality start going six innings allowing three runs and striking out five. He earned his first big league victory in his next outing against the Cincinnati Reds, dominating them over seven innings allowing just a single run on four hits and fanning nine batters. He also earned his first major league hit during that game with a single off of Johnny Cueto. Cloyd also made another dominant start against the Mets on September 20th going eight innings of one run ball earning his second win. In his first taste of the big leagues Cloyd made six starts going 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA striking out 30 batters across 33 innings while walking only seven.
The following season Cloyd split time between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Late in the season Cloyd became the first player to ever throw back to back complete games for Lehigh Valley. With Philadelphia in 2013 Cloyd made 13 appearances and 11 starts. He went 2-7 with a 6.56 ERA over 60.1 innings of work. Though through his first six starts that season with the Phillies Cloyd was much better than what the final numbers said. Over 34.1 innings of work he fashioned a 3.41 ERA. But in his final seven appearances he had a 10.41 ERA in 26 innings as he split time between being a starter and a reliever. That would mark the end of his time with the Phillies.
Cloyd was then added off waivers by the Cleveland Indians and spent the entire 2014 season with their Triple-A affiliate the Columbus Clippers. In 26 starts with Columbus he went 10-8 with a 3.89 ERA, he struck out 118 batters over 166.2 innings and walked only 31. He threw 3 complete games and two shutouts with one of those coming on July 30th where he threw a no hitter against the Louisville Bats.
Released by the Indians, Cloyd would spend the 2015 season overseas in Korea in the KBO. There he pitched for the Samsung Lions going 11-11 over 28 starts with a 5.19 ERA.
The following season Cloyd found himself back in the United States, back in Triple-A, back in the state of Pennsylvania, this time however with the New York Yankees affiliate in Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Cloyd looked the part again over three starts with a minuscule 1.37 ERA but he would end up not pitching again that season suffering an elbow injury and getting Tommy John Surgery.
Cloyd returned the following year beginning in the independent ranks with the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League. He made just three starts with the Patriots before having his contract purchased by the Seattle Mariners. He was assigned to Triple-A Tacoma where it only took him five starts to once again earn a promotion to the parent club. He would make his Mariners debut on June 9th against the Toronto Blue Jays almost four years apart from his last major league appearance with the Phillies. That game with the Mariners would be his only appearance with Seattle as he earned the win tossing a scoreless seventh inning.
In 2018 Cloyd found himself with the Miami Marlins. He would once again earn a promotion to the big league club though this time purely as a reliever has he made seven total appearances with the fish including gone outing where he did not allow a single run over five innings of relief.
Last season Cloyd was back with the Mariners for a second go round pitching in Triple-A, Tacoma. But with a 2-8 record and a 7.43 ERA over 13 starts they released him. He went back to Somerset and finished out the season with the Patriots going 1-3 with a 3.48 ERA splitting time between the bullpen and the starting rotation making seven starts and eight trips out of the pen. Over 44 innings of work he struck out 39 batters and walked only six.
In a total of four different seasons in the big leagues, Cloyd appeared in 27 games, making 17 starts going 5-9 with a 6.35 ERA, working 112 innings with 85 strikeouts and 42 walks. In his two seasons in independent baseball he has a 3.05 ERA in 18 games and 10 starts striking out 55 over 56 innings and walking just nine. Good for a K/9 of 8.8 and a BB/9 of 1.4.
With the addition of Tyler Cloyd the Explorers now have ten players under contract for the 2020 season.
RHP Tyler Cloyd
RHP Nate Gercken
RHP Ben Yokley
RHP AJ Nitzschke
LHP Jairo Labourt
RHP Matt Pobereyko
LHP Winston Lavendier
LHP Raudel Lazo
OF Sebastian Zawada
OF Ricky Ramirez Jr.
The Sioux City Explorers 28th season in Siouxland will begin on May 19th at the Kansas City T-Bones. The X’s open up their home schedule on May 26th against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and luxury suites are now for sale for all 50 Explorers home games for the 2020 season. Simply call (712) 277-WINS (9467) to order your ticket package today.
By Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers