Tag:Vance Worley
Posted on: May 24, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 12:57 am

On Deck: Beckett looks to slow down Indians


By Matt Snyder

Are we in for a low-scoring night? From established aces like Justin Verlander and Dan Haren to up-and-comers like Jhoulys Chacin and Zach Britton, there are plenty of solid arms in action Tuesday night. In fact, there are 21 starting pitchers on the schedule with ERAs below 3.50 and 10 below 2.75 -- and this excludes Josh Collmenter (0.69) and Jorge De La Rosa (3.34), as the Rockies and Diamondbacks are already underway. Granted, some of the guys included are small samples like Johnny Cueto and Vance Worley, but it's still quite a night for good pitching.

Beckett vs. Red-Hot Tribe: It's pretty safe to say the Indians have been on a hot streak for the entire season, or at least at home. The Indians are the best team in baseball at 30-15 but are a ridiculous 19-4 at home. Asdrubal Cabrera stands out as the star of the team at this point, but he hasn't been carrying them or anything. This is a true team in every sense. Trying to slow the Indians down is Josh Beckett, in what should be a good battle. Beckett brings in an AL-best 1.73 ERA. He lost his first start of the season at Cleveland but has been on a different level since then, sporting a 1.38 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings. In four of those eight starts, he has allowed zero runs. In two more, he's allowed just one. Unstoppable force vs. immovable object? We'll see. Fausto Carmona (3-4, 4.76) toes the slab for the Tribe. Boston at Cleveland, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Opposite Directions: As Stats, Inc. pointed out Tuesday afternoon (via Twitter), the Twins are looking to avoid their longest home losing streak since they weren't even the Twins. A loss against the Mariners Tuesday evening would mark the 10th straight in Target Field and would match a franchise high ... with the 1957 Washington Senators. As always, the Twins entered the season with high expectations, but they're clearly the worst team in baseball at 15-31. Meanwhile, the Mariners are riding high. They were the consensus last-place prediction in the AL West heading into the season. But after six consecutive victories, they trail the Rangers by just 1 1/2 games in a division that seems completely up for grabs. For Tuesday night, it will be Doug Fister (2.93 ERA and 1.29 WHIP) for the Mariners vs. Nick Blackburn (3.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) of the Twins. As Monday night proved, however, the starting pitchers may not be what determines the outcome. Seattle at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m. ET.

Reeling Reds: After sweeping the Cardinals and Cubs at home by the middle of last week, the Reds were sitting pretty. They had won 11 of 13 overall and appeared to be opening up a decent lead in the NL Central. Then they lost two to the Pirates at home and were swept at Cleveland. After a 10-3 drubbing on Monday night at the hands of the Phillies, the Reds had lost six in a row and are now 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals. Johnny Cueto (1.45 ERA in three starts) takes the hill and will attempt to stop the bleeding for Cincy. His counterpart will be Philly's rotation replacement Vance Worley, who has been stellar this season in somewhat limited action (1.13 ERA in 16 innings). Someone on the Reds you may not have noticed as they've been losing is Jay Bruce. The 24-year-old outfielder is white hot. He's gone 11-18 (.611) with four home runs, six RBI, five runs and a 1.983 OPS in his last five games. Cincinnati at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: May 5, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: May 5, 2011 1:20 pm

Pepper: Doc the finisher

By Matt Snyder

FINISH HIM: Roy Halladay is an old-school pitcher in more ways than one, but we'll just concentrate on the complete games for today. He toes the slab each day expecting to finish the job he started. And he does it with rare frequency in this day and age of obsessive pitch counts and situational relievers. As I noted on Baseball Today -- which you should have already viewed above -- Halladay is such a complete game machine that he has more since 2003 than all but six major-league teams. Of course, the Blue Jays lead the majors in that span due to the 44 Halladay provided them (of 77 total) and the Phillies 56 in that span, just one more than Halladay -- who has provided the Phillies with 11 thus far. He's great in so many ways, but Halladay's ability to complete games unlike any other single pitcher this generation is what truly sets him apart. (MLB.com )

NAME THAT TEAM: The Reds have a new Double-A affiliate coming to Pensacola, Florida. The team name is being chosen through a voting process with the fans. They have narrowed the field to six finalists now: Aviators, Blue Wahoos, Loggerheads, Mullets, Redbones and Salty Dogs. Mullets? Really, Pensacola citizens? I like creative names, but making a joke won't be funny for much longer than a few days. I love the other five choices, actually. Which means Mullets will win. (PNJ.com )

HELTON TIES GEHRIG: Todd Helton ripped a double Wednesday night, which was No. 534 of his career. It tied him with the great Lou Gehrig for 31st on the all-time list.

"It's an honor to be mentioned at any level with a guy like that," Helton said. "That's a lot of doubles. I always considered myself a gap-to-gap hitter, and that's the way you get doubles. "More important, there were two guys on, and they turned out to be pretty big runs." (MLB.com )

GROUND RULES: Not one, but two games were affected by a batted ball being lodged between the outfield wall and the ground Wednesday night. In Tampa Bay, it was off the bat of Evan Longoria. Had Juan Rivera left the ball there and gotten a ground-rule double ruling, the Jays wouldn't have clipped Johnny Damon at home as he was trying to score from first. The Blue Jays ended up winning by one, too. On the other hand, in the same situation in Kansas City, Orioles' center fielder Adam Jones left a ball lodged in the base of the wall and let the umpire make the call while Mike Aviles raced around the bases for a would-be inside-the-park home run. The umpire called it a ground-rule double and Aviles was eventually stranded as the Orioles won by one run. Particularly disturbing was how easily Jones pulled the ball from the wall after the umpire made the call. It was stuck, only lodged. I don't want to make outfielders sift through obstructions in the outfield, but they shouldn't be able to gain an advantage for their team by refusing to touch a ball that slightly lodges in the wall. Please note, I'm not blaming Jones. It was smart because he knew what would be called. The rule is the issue. (MLB.com )

SIGN LANGUAGE: Mets catcher Josh Thole has a dog that was discovered to be deaf. Along with his wife, Thole has taught the dog to understand sign language and has since made many friends in the animal-care community. (New York Daily News )

SOON TO BE GATHERING DUST: Raise your hand if you're interested in reading John Rocker's "memoirs." Yeah, apparently his book, which he's shockingly having to self-publish, is due out in June. It's called "Scars and Strikes." It's reportedly a mixture of politics and sports. That's good. I always felt he needed to talk more about his political views, because it's paramount we learn what he thinks as soon as is humanly possible. I don't even know how we've survived the past few years without hearing much from him. (AJC.com )

THERE'S A STAT FOR EVERYTHING: In case you don't believe me, cloudy skies benefit hitters while wide-open blue skies benefit pitchers. Seriously. "Brighter conditions may result in increased eye strain for a batter and a higher level of glare in a ballpark," a meteorological study found. (OC Register )

CENTURY MARK FOR STAIRS: Matt Stairs has been around long enough to collect 100 pinch hits. (Washington Post ) The longevity is probably more impressive, though. Stairs has played for 12 teams in 19 seasons. He's actually been a pretty good hitter for much of that journeyman career. His triple slash line (Average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage) is .263/.357/.480. That gives him an OPS-plus of 118.

THROWBACKS: The Dodgers and Cubs played a game in some really nice throwback uniforms Wednesday. Here is a post that tells you far too much about the uniforms. (Uniwatchblog.com )

TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE: It's no secret Mike Stanton has some serious power. Consider Mark McGwire impressed after having seen Stanton up close. "Power hitters are born. He's just a born home run hitter," McGwire said after noting that Stanton is so talented he can play for "the next 25 years if he likes." High praise from a former basher himself (and keep the snickers to a minimum, please). Oh, and this was all said before Wednesday night when Stanton's bomb buried the Cardinals. (Miami Herald )

WHITHER WORLEY: Vance Worley is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 12 innings through two starts for the Phillies. Of course, he's about to have no spot in the rotation once Joe Blanton returns from the disabled list. You can't exactly bump Halladay or Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels or Oswalt. Blanton is firmly entrenched as the fifth starter, too. Philly.com takes a look at why it's OK for Worley to be sent back the minors and where he might fit if the club is inclined to keep him up with the big boys. One thing they didn't mention that I'd like to add is that maybe the Phillies could deal Blanton for a bat at some point? Some team is sure to get desperate for pitching at the trade deadline and the Phillies are going to need offense more than pitching at that point. Worley could slide in as a fine five for now.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 6:24 pm

Blanton to disabled list with elbow injury

By Matt Snyder

Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with what's being termed an elbow impingement on his throwing arm. Vance Worley will get the start Friday with Blanton down. (Matt Gelb via Twitter)

Here's the word on an elbow impingement: When Blanton flips his arm forward, palm out, it causes his blood vessels and nerves to compress which causes pain. Since that's essentially what the throwing motion is, he likely suffers pain with each pitch. Over time, that stress causes inflammation which means he's constantly experiencing pain.

Blanton, 30, is the overshadowed member of the Phillies vaunted rotation behind Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, but he's a fine No. 5 starter. He's gotten off to a rocky start this season with a 5.92 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in four starts, but last season Blanton went 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 175 2/3 innings. He's not an All-Star by any stretch, but many teams would like to have him as a three or four, let alone their fifth starter.

Worley, 23, got a cup of coffee with the Phils last season and made it count. He threw 13 innings and only allowed two earned runs (a 1.38 ERA) while striking out 12 and walking just four. In Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, Worley is 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 25 strikeouts against just six walks in 22 2/3 innings.

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Posted on: January 11, 2011 5:05 pm

Phillies could hold onto Blanton

Joe Blanton Ever since the Phillies signed Cliff Lee, it's been assumed Joe Blanton is on his way out of Philadelphia.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. tells MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that he continues to shop the right-hander, but doesn't have to deal Blanton, who will make  $17 million over the next two seasons.

"I really don't have to do anything," Amaro said. "We'll see whether it makes some sense to increase some flexibility for us for later on, but at some point, as I've said, we've just got to see what we've got in Spring Training and move on from there."

Blanton, 30, was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA last season, pitching 175 2/3 innings -- his lowest total since breaking into the majors full-time in 2005.

By holding onto Blanton, the Phillies aren't selling low on a pitcher that won 42 games in his first three full seasons and 30 in the three since.  While owed a lot of money, Blanton's been a dependable innings-eater throughout his career and there seems to be little reason to doubt that trend will continue. Come spring training, injuries will always create a need for a team to go out and get a starter, right now the Phillies have little leverage.

Right now, Philly has its formidable foursome with Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, with Blanton serving as the fifth starter. The team also has Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley who could step into that position. Kendrick was 11-10 with a 4.73 ERA last season, while Worley has started one game in the big leagues.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 7, 2010 6:10 pm

Kendrick may be booted from rotation for Worley

Vance Worley Kyle Kendrick has made 27 starts on the season and largely settled in as the Phillies' No. 5 starter, but now may find himself bumped from the rotation in favor of Vance Worley.

Worley (pictured) made his major-league debut on Monday, starting the first game of a doubleheader against the Marlins. He went five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and one walk while punching out five, throwing just 76 pitches. Not bad for a 22-year-old.

"I felt like he threw five innings and he did a good job," manager Charlie Manuel told the Philadelphia News . "He kept us right where we wanted to go. First start in the big leagues, he was fine."

It's not exactly a ringing endorsement of the youngster, but Kendrick has coughed up nine earned runs in nine innings over his last two starts and 18 over his last 20 1/3 innings comprised of four starts. That gives him a 4.89 ERA on the season in 158 1/3 innings. Striking out just 4.2 batters per nine and walking 2.4, the righty is not exactly keeping his rotation spot on lockdown.

Kendrick is slated to face the Mets on Saturday, then appear two more times down the stretch against the Nationals, which have owned Kendrick this season, tallying up at least five runs in all three of Kendrick's starts against Washington. That might be enough to tap Worley for the gig as the team scrambles to take down the Braves for the NL East Division as well as stay the course atop the wild card.

Worley, of course, would love the opportunity. "As long as I'm in the back of [Manuel's] mind," he said. "Hopefully I get another opportunity."

He'll have to wait to find out, as Manuel said he hasn't even considered the possibility yet.

Whether Kendrick or Worley, the No. 5 starter will only be needed for those three games as the schedule and current order of the rotation lines up for only needing four men in the rotation. In addition, the Phillies have their top three of Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt ready to face the Braves in all six remaining games against Philly's division rivals in the final two weeks of the season.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
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