PITTSBURGH -- Vance Worley will start his second big-league season -- those five appearances in 2010 don't count as a season -- as a member of the Phillies' starting rotation Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
As addressed last Sunday in an Inside the Phillies story about Worley, the Phillies' three aces admired the rookie righthander's work a year ago.
Here's some leftover quotes from Roy Halladay that didn't make the story because of space limitations.
"You don't see many guys getting strikeouts looking as a young pitcher," Halladay said. "He did it with back-door sinkers and front-door sinkers and you don't see a lot of young guys doing that. Usually they come up and are throwing as hard as they can and getting guys out with stuff alone. He was able to come up here and locate consistently and you don't see a lot of guys his age doing that."
Halladay, of course, learned the hard way that initial big-league success does not always carry into the second season. As great as Halladay has become, he experienced acute growing pains in his second full season with the Toronto Blue Jays, going 4-7 with a 10.64 ERA while also being optioned to triple-A Syracuse twice, where he posted a 5.50 ERA in 11 starts.
It was such an awful season that Halladay was sent to single-A Dunedin at the start of the 2001 season in order to work on his delivery. That story has been well-documented as a turning point in Halladay's career. Halladay, based on his own experience, explained the pressure that Worley must face in his second season in a big-league rotation.
"Just feeling there are expectations or something he has to prove or something he has to show," Halladay said. "You come up and pitch well and the best thing you can do is to continue to be you and not do anything more.
"I think a lot of times guys come up and have a year like he does and everybody expects him to build on that and do better and it's just really a matter of keeping it simple and do what got you to that point. I think the hardest part is not trying to do too much and being able to take a step back when you're overdoing it. That's a hard thing for young guys to learn."
Halladay admitted it was extremely difficult for him to take that step back in his second season.
"There were three of us who kind of got lumped into the same category: me and (Chris) Carpenter and (Kelvim) Escobar, we were all at the same points in our career with very similar pitching styles," Halladay said. "So there was a lot expected out of all three of us ... and you do get caught up in 'I have to be this and do that,' and I really got away from the little stuff it takes to be successful. I was looking too much at the big picture."
We begin to find out now if Worley can focus on the little things and get big outs for the Phillies again in 2012.