A visit to renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews confirmed the Phillies' diagnosis of a bone chip and inflammation in Vance Worley's right elbow. The good news is that Andrews immediately ruled out any serious problem with Worley's ulnar collateral ligament.
"Immediately after he grabbed my arm he knew it wasn't Tommy John," said Worley, who visited the specialist in Pensacola, Fla. "Now I just have to go out and get it going."
Worley was not immediately sure of the plan for his return to the field. The righthander said he is going to have to pitch with pain in his elbow for the rest of the season, something that lefty Cole Hamels did last year. Hamels had arthroscopic surgery after the season to remove bone chips from his elbow, although Worley said he does not know exactly how closely his condition mirrors the one that Hamels battled.
"It doesn't feel good, but I can do it," Worley said.
Worley is 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA in seven starts this season, continuing his success from 2011, when he went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 starts and four relief appearances. Worley has maintained the 3.1 BB/9 rate he posted last season while bumping his average strikeouts from 8.1 to 9.2 per-nine-innings. He has allowed seven home runs in 44 innings.
Worley's last start came on May 11 against the Padres, when he allowed three runs on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in six innings of a 7-3 win at Citizens Bank Park. The 24-year-old righthander has been replaced in the rotation by righthander Kyle Kendrick, who allowed two runs in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Nationals on Monday night and two runs in six innings of a 9-2 win over the Cubs five days before that.