Tag: Vance Worley

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Vance Worley Making His Case to Remain in Rotation in 2015

The road to the majors is often a long and difficult travel.    

However, getting there may be a bit easier than remaining there, as has been the case for Pittsburgh Pirates‘ starting pitcher Vance Worley.  

In 2011, Worley started 21 games for the Philadelphia Phillies, going 11-3 and helping his team cruise to the top of the National League East.  

The 2012 season was a completely different story for Worley and the Phillies, however, as he went 6-9 and posted a 4.20 ERA in 23 starts with the team.  

That offseason, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins for Ben Revere, where he did not fare well at all, posting a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts before being sent down to Triple-A.  

This past March, Worley‘s contract was purchased by Pittsburgh, and he pitched for Triple-A Indianapolis until June.  

When Worley was called up to start a game against the Miami Marlins on June 15 this year, it looked as if he had never left the majors. The veteran allowed no runs on just five hits in 7.0 innings pitched en route to a no-decision.  

Worley would go on to make three more consecutive starts in the rotation, going 2-1 while allowing seven earned runs in 20.2 innings pitched during that span.  

While he is accustomed to being sent down to the minors and then called back up again, it looks as if Worley may now be here to stay.  

After spending almost three weeks in the bullpen in July, Worley returned to the rotation on July 22, when he shut down the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing just one earned run in 6.0 innings pitched.  

Just five days later, Worley pitched one of the best games of his career, throwing a four-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants.  

Very quietly, Worley has actually been one of the best pitchers this season for Pittsburgh, leading all Pirates starting pitchers with an ERA of just 3.01 in 86.2 innings pitched.  

The 26-year-old righty has remained in the Pirates’ starting rotation since July 22, but if he continues to pitch well, he may remain in the Pirates’ future plans.

The Pirates may lose two of their starting pitchers after this season, as both Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez will become free agents. Both veterans are over 30 years old, which probably won’t fit general manager Neal Huntington’s organizational plans.  

Of course, it is too early to start thinking about next season, as the Pirates are right in the thick of another playoff race.  

Still, if Worley can continue to pitch well deep into September and possibly even October, there is no reason to believe he won’t be in consideration for a permanent rotation spot at the beginning of the 2015 regular season.   

*Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Pirates’ Vance Worley 1st to Record 8 Ks After Allowing 6 Runs in 1st Inning

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Vance Worley had an odd Monday night, becoming the first hurler since at least 1900 to record eight or more strikeouts during a start in which he gave up six or more runs in the first inning, per Elias Sports Bureau.

Worley‘s night at PNC Park started in the worst fashion imaginable, as he gave up solo home runs to the Atlanta Braves’ first two batters of the game, outfielder Jason Heyward and light-hitting shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Heyward‘s long ball was his first since July 18 and 10th of the season while Simmons’ was his first since June 10 and sixth of the season,

The nightmare didn’t end there, as Worley proceeded to allow a walk to first baseman Freddie Freeman, a single to outfielder Justin Upton and an infield single to third baseman Chris Johnson before finally striking out second baseman Tommy La Stella for the first out of the game. Following an RBI single by catcher Gerald Laird and an RBI groundout from pitcher Ervin Santana—aided by a Pittsburgh error—the Braves held a 6-0 lead after the top of the first inning.

While the deficit proved too much for the Pirates to rebound from, Worley bounced back nicely on a personal level, recording seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings the rest of the way, albeit in a 7-3 Pirates loss.

While such a peculiarity can never be expected, Worley was facing the right team to grab an odd piece of strikeout-related history. The Braves have struck out in 22.6 percent of their plate appearances this season, ranking 27th in the majors and ahead of only the Houston Astros (23.1), Chicago Cubs (23.2) and Miami Marlins (23.3). Atlanta also ranks a miserable 28th in the majors in runs scored (470) this season and is sitting in the bottom 10 for batting average (.246), on-base percentage (.310) and slugging percentage (.372).

The eight strikeouts represent Worley‘s highest single-game total since July 20, 2012, when he fanned nine San Francisco Giants while pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies. In between that outing and Monday’s, the right-hander went 27 consecutive starts without once recording eight or more strikeouts.


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

6 Minnesota Twins Poised for a Breakout Season in 2013

The Minnesota Twins‘ crop of young players in 2013 is much more exciting than years prior simply because they won’t be filling in for injured or ineffective big leaguers. Instead, there will be a team full of healthy, young competition vying for spots on the major-league roster.

Nearly every position player will have a battle on their hands during spring training. This is good, because competition breeds success—and success is something Minnesota needs dearly.

So who’s most likely to jump out as a new everyday player?

2013’s roster could be full of surprises both on the field and on the mound. But only a few will step up and leave an indelible mark on the franchise.  

Begin Slideshow

Philadelphia Phillies: Thanks to Ruben Amaro Jr., the End Is Near

The Philadelphia Phillies have not had a losing season since 2002, when they finished 80-81. The last ten seasons have provided the faithful fan base in Philadelphia with more things to cheer about than to jeer about. Unfortunately though, the end is near. 

It wasn’t the farcical Mayan Apocalypse that dashed the hopes of Phillies fans everywhere. No. It was the mismanagement of a roster and farm system that will cause the destruction of arguably the best decade of baseball in this franchise’s history. 

Who is to blame?

People will easily point fingers at the players. Most notably, Ryan Howard’s disappointing lack of production along with an additional projected decrease as his salary increases through the next several years is causing flack among Phillies fans.

Despite all this, Howard is not to blame.

Charlie Manuel developed a reputation for being a manager who knows how to instruct and correct batting issues from the get-go. It is sad to say, but one of the problems with the Phillies has been the ability to hit effectively and drive in runs on a consistent basis in recent years.

Still, managers in baseball are the most innocuous figureheads in professional sports. They matter much less than head coaches in the NFL and NBA.

The problem resides with the front office.

On November 3, 2008, Ruben Amaro Jr. succeeded Pat Gillick as the general manager of the Phillies, directly after the Phillies won the 2008 World Series. Since then, a series of gaffes and questionable transactions have compounded the problems for the Phillies, diminishing their relevance in not only their specific division, the National League East, but the entire National League as well.


On April 26, 2010, less than two years after his promotion to GM, Amaro Jr. signed the soon-to-be 31-year-old first baseman Ryan Howard to a 5-year, $125 million contract extension. The deal called for a club option on the sixth year. 

Despite holding the single-season HR record for a Phillie as well as many other records, Howard’s production is on the decline. Coming off an Achilles tear, Howard struggled mightily last season. Some believe that Howard should regain his ability to produce at an elite level in 2013, while others dismiss him as an oft-injured slugger prone to striking out who can’t play defense and is on the decline.

Whichever way you see him, Howard is definitely a controversial piece to the puzzle of where things went wrong with Amaro Jr.

Amaro Jr. does deserve some credit. Despite selling the best prospects in the farm system and spending cash hand over fist, Amaro Jr. has amassed talent in the form of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence, Roy Oswalt and Jonathan Papelbon.

While these names are enticing, their deals probably are not. Take Papelbon, for example. He was given the richest contract in history for a reliever. The problem is that a deal worth $60 million for a pitcher who is tasked with attaining three outs per game is asinine.

Especially when the money could have been used to give the rest of the bullpen or 25-man roster more depth.

2013 will be a telling year for Amaro Jr. He will either look like a genius or possibly lose his job. He deserves to be knocked hard for acquiring, then trading away Gio Gonzalez. He also shipped Chris Singleton out of the organization.

Meanwhile, many fans are disheartened at the lack of talented acquisitions during the 2012-13 off-season.

Ben Revere? John Lannan? Both guys are nice players, but Revere has one of the highest ground ball rates in baseball while Lannan is extremely ordinary on the hill. Meanwhile, fan favorite Vance Worley—a man who, when healthy, is an extremely effective young pitcher—was shipped out of town.

The Phillies have thus far failed to secure a deal for the likes of Justin Upton, Jason Kubel or Dexter Fowler.

2013 will speak volumes for what Amaro Jr. has done for the Phillies franchise. The roster is the least talented of any roster the Phillies have had since 2005, which is why this is the year where Amaro Jr.’s legacy will be shaped.

As to whether or not he has a job as GM in Philadelphia come October, that remains anyone’s guess.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Philadelphia Phillies: Why Vance Worley is the Most Underrated Player in MLB

Even on the days when he takes the mound, Vance Worley is the least talked-about member of the Philadelphia Phillies pitching rotation. With the way Worley has been playing this season, he just may start to finally get the respect he deserves. 

At the beginning of the season, the Philadelphia starting rotation was the most talked about commodity in all of baseball. Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt were all expected to be anchors for the team with the fifth and final spot up for grabs.

As expected, the first three have been nothing short of spectacular. Oswalt, on the other hand, has missed much of the season due to a persisting back injury and is now struggling to return to form.

With injuries to the former Houston Astros hurler as well as veteran Joe Blanton, fans once were understandably worried about how they would round out the pitching rotation. 

They aren’t worried anymore. 

In short, Worley has been phenomenal this year. In 19 games played, the “Vanimal,” as Phillies fans affectionately call him, has posted a 10-1 record with a 2.85 ERA and 90 strikeouts. The Phillies have won 13 consecutive games with Worley as a starter.

That stat gives him and Philadelphia the third-most consecutive start wins in the National League in the last 15 years. 

What’s even more impressive is that he’s done all of this under, and often off, the radar. 

Had Worley been putting up these kinds of numbers on a dismal Astros, Twins or even White Sox pitching staff, the coverage would be different. There he’d be an ace or top three in the rotation for sure.

Instead, Worley basks in the shadows of three MLB titans. The names ahead of him on the depth chart will all likely be written down once it is time to vote for the recipient of the NL Cy Young award. 

Still, in 10 of his 17 starts it is Worley that has allowed only one or fewer runs. Even more impressive is Worley hasn’t lost a start for the Phils since his May 29 game against the New York Mets.

When stats like these go unnoticed, underrated doesn’t even begin to explain it. 

Fortunately for Worley, he’s not entirely underrated in Philadelphia. Fans have not let his astounding accomplishments go unnoticed. “Vanimal” shirts and signs have showed up all over Citizen’s Bank Park and the fans always let Worley know he is appreciated by giving him generous amounts of support at home games. 

Worley has a theory as to why he is such a big hit with Philadelphia fans.

“I think it’s my stupid haircut and glasses more than anything,” he says.

Who doesn’t love a nice Mohawk?  

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Vance Worley, John Mayberry Jr. Continue to Prove Themselves

Perhaps forgotten in last night’s scrum between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants was the continued success of rookie pitcher Vance Worley and outfielder John Mayberry Jr.

Worley, who was put in the rotation due to an injury to the Phillies’ fifth starter, Joe Blanton, plowed through the Giants lineup for the second time in less than a month, giving up just two earned runs in the process.

It is the ninth game in a row the Phils have won with Worley on the mound. During that span, he has given up more than two runs just once, when facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in late July.

The 23-year-old right-hander has quickly become the Phils greatest surprise this season, holding an exceptionally impressive 2.35 ERA with eight wins and just one loss.

Some skeptics have quickly pointed to Kyle Kendrick and former Phillie J.A. Happ, two pitchers who had great rookie seasons that were followed by major disappointment.    

In 2007, Kendrick had a solid 3.87 ERA and was a major contributor to Philadelphia’s division-title run. Since his rookie campaign and his poor performance in the 2007 NLDS, Kendrick has not lived up to the initial expectations some fans had for him.

His ERA since 2007 is 4.62, highlighted by a sophomore year in which his ERA skyrocketed to a whopping 5.49.

Happ had an even better rookie year than Kendrick, going 12-4 with an ERA of 2.93. The young southpaw, who was injured for most of 2010, was traded at last year’s trade deadline for ace Roy Oswalt.

In his first full year with Houston, Happ has gone 4-14 with an ERA of 6.26.

Last night, while Worley was dominating the defending world champions, Happ was busy recovering from a shellacking at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers, a game in which Milwaukee scored six runs in just four innings.

It was the 10th time this year Happ had given up more than five earned runs in a game and the eighth start in a row in which he has done so.  

A drop off similar to that of Kendrick or even Happ is definitely a possibility going forward for Worley, or the “Vanimal,” as fans have come to call him. He is probably not an ace who can lead a club to the promised land; he just doesn’t have the stuff for it.

But, he should remain a solid fourth or fifth starter in the rotation, and in Philadelphia, where they are already full of aces, that’s all he really needs to be for the next few years.

On the other side of last night’s game was Mayberry, who continues to carry a hot bat.

The right-handed slugger hit another home run last night, this time against starter Jonathan Sanchez. It was Mayberry’s fourth homer in just over a week and the second in the series against the Giants.

Since being called up from Lehigh Valley on July 5, Mayberry is batting a formidable .311 with 19 hits, 14 of which were for extra bases.

Mayberry has had his fair share of clutch moments this year, winning the first game of the year on a walk-off single and tying last week’s series opener with a home run when the Phils were down to their last strike.

He has quickly become a go-to guy for Charlie Manuel, who continues to place him in the lineup, both as a starter and a pinch-hitter. He has clearly earned his place on the roster and could end up being the power bat off the bench that the Phils were supposedly looking for at the trade deadline.

Only time will tell whether or not the successes of Mayberry and Worley have been flukes.

But, in a period in which the Phillies players are growing older and management has quickly gone into a win-now mode, it’s nice to see that there are still young players remaining in the system who can help this club succeed going forward.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress