"We definitely need help in our 'pen," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said on Saturday. "And hopefully he can give it to us. Spring Training, we didn't want to send him out. We liked everything about him except we wanted him to get his command, location better. We got good reports on him. He's got a good arm so hopefully he can help us."
With Roy Halladay gone for much of the season because of next Wednesday's shoulder surgery, the Phillies had Cloyd fill the void with a stop-gap start.
Because of a pair of off-days in the upcoming schedule, the Phillies won't need a fifth starter until May 21 on the road against the Marlins. By that time they can recall Cloyd, who must remain in the Minors for 10 days unless the Phils incur another pitching injury. But Manuel said that decision is pending, as well as a reshuffling of the rotation for the upcoming homestand, which opens Tuesday night against the Indians.
John Lannan went on the disabled list on April 18 and can be activated at any time, but he's still nursing injuries to his left quad and knee.
"He's getting better, but he's still throwing off flat ground," Manuel said. "He hasn't gotten back up on the mound yet. But no, I don't think so. He won't be ready in 10 days."
De Fratus, 25, worked out of the 'pen for the IronPigs and was 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 13 appearances, perfecting location of his breaking pitches.
The 14th-ranked prospect in the Phillies' system, De Fratus began the 2012 season on the disabled list with a right elbow strain incurred while working out during that offseason. Through rehab and a Minor League stint, De Fratus didn't it make to the Phillies until Sept. 2. Because of the injury, he backed off this year on his winter workouts and says he feels fine now.
"Would I change anything about my offseason approach? No, because I'm healthy," he said. "I started throwing a little later [this past offseason] because my goal was to be healthy first. I only threw one bullpen session before I came to Spring Training. Usually I throw six or seven. I didn't want to risk being injured again. That was the most miserable experience of my career. I didn't want to go through it again."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow@boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.