History is rife with "flash-in-the-pan" rookie pitchers who dazzled in their debut only to be dealt a dose of reality their next season.
There's no greater tug-of-war than the subjective vs. objective battle being waged over the sophomore-season expectations for Vance Worley. On one hand, you have long-time Phillies fans, like our own bay_area_phan, who've seen guys like Worley time and time again. "I have nothing terribly specific to base my low expectations of Worley on," he posted Thursday in our comment thread. "I just base it on thirty-plus years of seeing Phillies flash-in-the-pan rookie pitchers who come crashing back to earth in year two."
Data houses see it differently. Of the Phillies' four breakout players - Worley, Michael Stutes, John Mayberry and Antonio Bastardo - projections for Worley are the most favorable. Bill James' Baseball Information Solutions sees a 3.86 ERA from Worley with fewer walks. Baseball Prospectus PECOTA system came to a 4.23 conclusion. Even if he settles somewhere in the middle, it's enough staying power to be a good fourth starter in this league.
Using the same metrics, Stutes, who was luckier than not, according to the advanced metrics, is expected to fall back to the fringes: a 4.24 ERA by James and a 4.52 ERA like PECOTA projects will make it difficult to stave off challenges from the likes of the Phillies' next wave of rookies, like Justin De Fratus and Phillippe Aumont. From our own resident pessimist bay_area_phan: "Like his stuff; don't like his wildness or extreme fly ball tendencies. And his peripherals say he was pretty lucky to have the success that he did."
- US Presswire Photo