The Phillies' ace-laden rotation has a vacancy.
Following Monday's 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals, the Phillies optioned right-hander Vance Worley to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Worley received the news 24 hours removed from the worst start of his career, as he gave up eight runs (five earned) on 12 hits in three innings of a 9-5 loss to the New York Mets on Sunday.
The Phillies are expected to make a corresponding move on Tuesday, although it might not necessarily be a pitcher.
With a day off on Thursday, the Phillies have the option to forgo using a fifth starter until Wednesday, May 8. In the time between now and then, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels would all be available to pitch on regular rest.
"That'll be decided in the next couple of days," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Worley's demotion was somewhat surprising. Called up to assume the rotation spot of Joe Blanton in late April, Worley went 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA.
But when Blanton returned from the disabled list, Worley was used sparingly out of the bullpen before being sent back to Triple-A. When Blanton had to go back to the disabled list last week, Worley once again was summoned to take the spot in the rotation, but complained of a light workload following his first off-kilter start.
After going 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in his first two starts, Worley was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in his last two.
"There are things I need to work on," Worley said following Monday's game. "It's kind of been a work in progress; it's just a matter of what role I'm going to be thrown into that day. I'm fine with it. I know what I need to do and I'll be back in a start or two."
Said Manuel: "We want him to get down there and start pitching and get back to where he was when he was throwing the ball real good. He'll get a regular turn and get stretched out."
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