Young hurlers getting feet wet at big league level

Young hurlers getting feet wet at big league level

CINCINNATI -- Monday was a day of firsts for the Phillies' pitching staff.

Starter Tyler Cloyd earned the first win of his Major League career, reliever Justin De Fratus made his first appearance of 2012 and rookie Phillippe Aumont chalked up the first save of his career.

It was a pitching cycle that resembled one the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs may have watched take the diamond just a month ago.

"We kind of joked about that," Cloyd said. "There's a lot of us IronPigs here. It's fun to come up with the same guys."

Aumont was the first IronPig to make it this season after being recalled Aug. 21, followed shortly by Cloyd on the 29th and De Fratus on Sunday.

Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said he was pleased with the young arms in the bullpen that quieted the winningest team in baseball.

"Of course, he hadn't pitched much this year, and his velocity last year was a lot better," Manuel said of De Fratus. "But evidently he'd been pitching good in Lehigh Valley."

De Fratus was 0-1 with a 2.49 ERA in 17 appearances for Lehigh Valley, and got to put his arm on display Monday in Cincinnati, tossing one 13-pitch inning, with his only blemish a walk to Reds pinch-hitter Denis Phipps.

Aumont came on as the closer instead of Jonathan Papelbon, whom the Phillies rested after using him four of six days.

"There's definitely a little more adrenaline," Aumont said. "Not that I don't have any, I've got plenty of adrenaline up here. It was definitely fun out there."

If needed, Aumont could provide an alternative to Papelbon, who has pitched in 50 or more games for the seventh straight season and has appeared in the 10th most games (435) among active relievers since 2006.

"[Aumont] has got big time stuff," Manuel said. "He's big, he's strong, he's durable and his ball sneaks up on you. He throws in the mid-90's, which is pretty good."