Thursday, February 11, 2016

To keep Worley or not

Later today, the Phillies expect to receive encouraging news on two-fifths of their starting rotation.

To keep Worley or not

Vance Worley is 2-0 in two starts for the Phillies this season. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Vance Worley is 2-0 in two starts for the Phillies this season. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Later today, the Phillies expect to receive encouraging news on two-fifths of their starting rotation.

Roy Oswalt is expected to rejoin the team after spending a week with his family in tornado-ravaged Mississippi. He will throw a bullpen and is slotted as the starter for Saturday's game against Atlanta.

Joe Blanton will pitch off a mound for the first time in 12 days. The impingement in his right elbow that forced a disabled list stint is feeling better -- so much so that the Phillies and Blanton do not anticipate a minor-league rehab assignment.

Those developments would leave Vance Worley without a spot in the starting rotation, and rightfully so. Worley, of course, has been very good in 12 innings. The first start against New York was decent. The progression to start No. 2 was even better and that is the most encouraging thing.

After Roy Halladay, who has been the Phillies’ best starter so far?
Joe Blanton
Cole Hamels
Cliff Lee
Roy Oswalt
Vance Worley

But it shows Worley fully remains in the developmental stage, as he should. Worley is 23 and began 2010 at double-A Reading. His off-speed pitches are coming along, but they are not refined. That will come with more work.

The best argument for demoting Worley is for developmental reasons and it is hard to disagree. Worley best helps the 2011 Phillies as starting rotation insurance. Keeping him in the bullpen because of his effectiveness likely would not benefit team or pitcher. Sure, Danys Baez has not been good and Kyle Kendrick is shaky at times. Both have received limited chances.

Do the Phillies want those mop-up innings to go to Worley? I cannot speak for them, but likely answer is, "No." There are 133 games left in the season and I highly doubt Wednesday was Worley's final start. They will need him again, eventually, and why not keep him stretched out as a starter?

Because of that decision before, Worley was able to slip into the rotation seamlessly when Blanton was disabled. Kendrick has been rotation insurance in the past, but now he is not stretched out and that's why the nod went to Worley.

The 23-year-old may have shown he's ready to contribute on a major-league team, but not on this one. Remember these 12 innings, however, when the decision on Oswalt's $16 million option for 2012 comes to the forefront.

Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for easy access to all of our Phillies coverage, plus app-exclusive videos and analysis. Get it here.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer's beat writers and columnists.

Jake Kaplan Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Breen Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter