After throwing 110 pitches against Arizona on April 24, Vance Worley went searching for Cole Hamels. The ball was coming out of Worley's right hand just fine. But there was extra pain in his elbow.
He remembered Hamels often talking about the same thing last season, when he pitched with a bone chip the size of a Tic Tac in his left elbow.
"What is, exactly, a bone chip?" Worley asked Hamels. "Can you give me some of your symptoms?"
Hamels started listing a few. When he finished, he asked Worley, "Do you have any of them?"
"I have all of them," Worley said.
"You have bone chips," Hamels replied.
Three weeks later, when the pain was too much, two examinations — an ultrasound and MRI — confirmed Hamels' diagnosis of Worley: He has a bone chip. It will likely require offseason surgery.
Other than rest, what's the solution?
"Man up," Worley said. "That's the only thing I can do. I'll just grit and grind out there."
The 24-year-old Worley expects to test his elbow by throwing sometime this week. He's eligible to return from the disabled list May 27.
Worley informed the team of the pain in his elbow around the time of the Arizona start.
"It got to the point where it was affecting the way I could long toss and throw my bullpens," Worley said. "I started cutting everything shorter. I was just going out there on game day and pitching with everything I had."
That turned out quite fine. Worley posted a 3.07 ERA and 45 to 15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first seven starts. Now, he must manage the pain as Hamels did a season ago.
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