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Tuesday, August 07, 2012


He has the bone chip and I think he's a little overweight. Shut him down and tell him to bring the '11 version to Clearwater next spring.

There's so much solicitude on this board for players and injuries that I think I lose perspective. There's a difference between playing with pain and risking further injury.

Unless Worley starts altering his mechanics to compensate for pain, or unless those bone chips are going to cause further elbow injury, I see no reason to shut him down, now. If I'm wrong, he should never have been pitching after the diagnosis. Same with Ryan Howard - unless he's at risk of aggravating that achilles, and I've not heard anything to suggest he is, what harm is there in him seeing a lot of major league pitching the next month or two? None. Am I missing some obvious medical issue here?

Hugh - Worley is a bit different since he is going to have offseason surgery to clear out the bone chips and probably is at a higher risk for further injury by altering his mechanics due to the pain in his elbow.

He is a guy they definitely should consider shutting down early especially once in Sept once rosters expand.

Let him have surgery a bit early, have a bit more time to rehab, and be ready to go in Feb.

Been saying this for weeks. Thank you JW.

What's the point?

Hugh - It's an article of faith around here that anyone who is not performing is either injured or recovering from injury and shouldn't be playing. The Phillies FO is hellbent on damaging all of these guys it has invested millions in, doncha know.

I agree with that, MG. By September, a 24 year old pitcher is typically running on fumes anyway. Shut him down then, get the surgery done, give him a full off-season post-surgery.

I think the "point", Iceman, is partly that baseball is primarily entertainment for the paying customers. They buy a ticket and expect to watch big leaguers. The other part is that no player improves at his craft sitting on the bench or hte beach.

Iceman: I try and make this point a lot, so I'm not just picking on you about the "slacker" thing (although it is a loaded word--when was the last time you heard a white player described as lazy?)

Posted by: Jack | Tuesday, August 07, 2012 at 12:12 AM

When JRoll and Dom Brown don't run out a ground ball, it is obviously because 500 years ago, one of their ancestors was sold into slavery by their own family member resulting in centuries of oppression including a contract for more money than 99.5% of the non-oppressed will ever see in their lifetime. Makes sense to me.

Yeah I don't get why they keep trotting him out there. I guess they are sitting back thinking "Well boys we have $64.5M tied up in 3 arms next year. What do you guys thinking about breaking down this kid Worley? I mean he's only going to make about $900K or so next year. Think it's a good idea? Oh and he's probably one of the very few trade chips we have left you know being that he's all controllable and cheap and what not. Yeah let's go for it...ride him into the ground!"

The point is that Worley is a young pitcher who the Phillies are relying on to be a part of their rotation. You can't baby him for ~120 IP a season and then all of a sudden count no him to go 200IP next year. The Phillies should really try to get him another 50 IP (8-10 starts) and he should be set for another increase next year as well when it will likely be needed.

I agree with Hugh, if he's not at any more risk than a normal pitcher is, there is no reason to shut him down.

He did look like he was about to keel over at any moment and blow chunks...elbow issue aside, he didn't look like he should've been out there. Frankly I am surprised he didn't lose his lunch at some point.

Hugh- I can guarantee you that he is not 'improving his craft' pitching through pain.

lorecore, but throwing him through pain in a lost season just to throw him makes more sense than shutting him down? I don't get it. If he doesn't sniff 200 IP this year because he is getting himself righted sooner then I think the odds of reaching 200 IP next year are better than him plowing through this lost season for no reason other than to add mileage to a hurting arm.

curt - With the incredibly high rate that pitchers get hurt, it isn't unwarranted paranoia about second-guessing if a pitcher is hurt or not.

Hell, I imagine that every pitcher by August has slight aches and pains.

Joe D: If bone chips in the elbow were cause for pain and further injury, i would agree with you. I don't believe it does. Hamels threw with bone chips in his elbow last year without any pain.

I know Hamels did it but he's also Hamels and last year they had something to play for and play through. This season you need to call off all the dogs and make sure you don't dig a deeper hole for 2013. Neither of us know the true affect of the chips but I do know that it's not normal and if it can worsen conditions then there is no point in having him continue to throw.

"I can guarantee you that he is not 'improving his craft' pitching through pain."

How so?

He's fine. Let him pitch.

If Worley goes to the Dl that would mean he has an injury. We all know how the club handles injuries. Now that this team needs someone making intelligent decisions ,a complete makeover at the top is needed,GM,manager,coaches.
I see no positives in Worley continuing to pitch.Problem is some people still think this team can make the playoffs.

I already miss coolhandluke

I have no clue if Worley is or can hurt himself further this year. He's still at < 120 innings, so I don't think he's really "starting to ratchet up some miles". If his mechanics are still good, and there is no, I mean NO!!! chance of further hurting his arm, let him pitch for another month. Then do the surgery early so the recovery starts sooner.

My untrained eye can't detect any flaw in his mechanics. But he seems to have lost control of that deadly back-up FB he used last year to record all those "caught lookings", which makes me nervous that he has tweaked his motion and is at risk of hurting himself.

Wow, I can't believe Worley is only 24. People really need to think about what that means before they advocate trading him. The return would have to be truly astronomical from a value perspective--even if you can pick up a starting position player who would slightly outpace Worley's production in a given season, it's simply not worth it if that position player stands to cost millions through arbitration and/or hit free agency soon.

For me, Worley is someone you hang your hat on as a linchpin of any potential championship team they try to put together--not because he's a star, but because of his insane cheapness. You build a great team by underpaying as many players like that as possible.

Who is advocating trading Worley? I think he is one of the very few trade chips (no pun intended) they have left but yes I think they should definitely hold onto him and hope he can regain that 2011 magic and do so at his very low price tag. The fact that he could possibly get back to that 2011 performance is even more reason for possibly shutting him down now.

Does coolhandluke sleep with the fishes?

Imagine the Phils haven't done an MRI on Worley since he came back. Probably just closely scrutinizing his mechanics, having Sheridan work closely with him & monitor him especially after each start, and relying upon Worley himself to give an honest assessment on how he feels.

Last part is the hardest one I am sure for Sheridan and the coaching staff to gauge. Worley is a young guy that wants to be out there. Also hasn't had an elbow injury before with his pitching arm.

Well I guess the fact that it took them as long as it did to shut Doc down when he was so clearly not himself and costs insanely more doesn't bode well for a strong handling of this Worley situation.

fumphis, stop making sense.

To amplify, it makes zero sense to trade Worley, who when healthy can give you #3 starter production for millions less than you'll have to pay an FA (see Edwin Jackson).

Teams can only afford to sign a certain number of high paid FA's (and if IIRC, the strategy of loading up on them has resulted in exactly 1 [one] WS for the Yankees in the last 12 years - a strategy they are abandoning as even they seek to reduce payroll), and Worley is exactly the kind of player successful teams have on the roster.

Now if only Brown and some of the other young position players can produce.......

Am I missing the posts calling for a trade of Worley? Were they in the previous thread?

There were a ton of "trade Worley" comments in the past couple months...

No one is saying Worley should pitch through pain - some ppl are assuming hes in pain while others aren't - theres really no debate here.

I'm just pointing out that there is value to Worley pitching the remainder of the year, so its not like shutting him down has 0 disadvantages.

You guys are just calling Vance fat because you don't have me to pick on anymore!

I believe those who want to trade for Headley thought, probably correctly, that Worley would have to be included in that trade. He probably is one of the only tradeable commodities we have for the lower payroll teams to consider. I agree with the previous few posts that he is a key ingredient for the next few years. With all the big contracts you need a handful of productive cheap guys on your roster too. Think about last year when we won 102 games. Worley, Stutes, Bastardo, Mayberry etc. Got to have those types of guys on your roster.

Nobody would call Vance fat if he wasn't white...or Asian or whatever the hell his ethnicity is.


Yeah I don't think anyone is advocating trading Worley just for the sake of trading him.

I don't think we should trade Worley. But for all the people saying we should upgrade 3B or another position by trade (Headley, for example), you have to acknowledge it would be very hard to make that deal without including Worley.

So it's simply a matter of balancing priorities. Personally, I'm of the mind that a solid pitcher like Worley that's being paid the league minimum is pretty valuable, considering how much money we owe to a few other guys. So, it would really take a heck of a lot to trade him. That's all contingent on the doctors believing he's healthy going forward, of course.

I read some posts saying trading Worley for Headley would be worthwhile, but there is definitely not a groundswell of support for trading him.

Posters saying every team needs cheap production are dead on. If you can get a few bullpen arms, a starter and one or two every day players for under a million each that is a huge coup that allows the team go out and make the deadline deals for overpaid rentals or make a splash in free agency. If Worley (and May or Biddle after him) can be that guy along with Brown and any of the young pen arms (JDF, Aumont, Schwimer, Diekman, Bastardo, Rosenberg, et all) can keep it together for the next 2 years we can get to that new TV deal in fine shape.

If the Phils were in the race then maybe but give that they have other options even then no.

The fact that he is pitching while they are battling for last place is stupid.

Again its about the management stupid.

The battle for 3rd place has begun.

Joe D, IMO Worley doesn't even need to duplicate 2011 to be extremely valuable.

Even after last night's crapper, his current ERA is 3.83. That's better than league average (3.97), and puts him in the category of a back of the pack #3 starter.

If he can put up an ERA of 3.50 - 4.00, as the #4, and pitch 180 innings, he'll be a very valuable member of the rotation.

I just checked over at

Vance Worley's 3.83 ERA is 32nd best among all SP in the NL. It is 49th best in MLB, though AL ERAs are higher because of the DH.

That puts him, in an injury-marred year, in the top 40% of all NL starters.

His 105 ERA+ ranks him 46th in all of MLB.

So, even if he just duplicates 2012 levels of performance and pitches a full season, he's going to add a lot of value to the roster.

Agreed awh.

Hugh- yeah, I guess it can't be empirically proven. I would think it's just common sense that if a guy is gritting his teeth through pain, and focusing on pain management, it follows that he's probably doesn't have much capacity to improve, or 'hone his craft.' I guess if you can make the argument that he's learning to pitch without his best stuff, which will only help him down the road, but that's also unable to be proven.

I thought the same thing last night JW. It was obvious he was cooked in the second inning. I'm not saying he can't pitch right now but I think it's a serious mistake in a lost season to keep him regularly going in the rotation. Pitch him out of the pen, go 6 man rotation, or shut him down completely.

The AL average ERA is 4.08.

The NL average ERA is 3.97.

I'm wondering if that's an anamoly, because the spread in past seasons has been much higher.

Are there better pitchers is the AL now which is supressing runs? Better defenders? Or, is some of it due to off years from guys like JJ, Halladay and Lee, leading to a higher ERA in the NL than should be expected?

Worley is in serious decline, and we should trade him now while he still has some value.

Check out these ERA+ figures:

2010: 302
2011: 127
2012: 105

A nearly 200 point drop in 2 years; this is a disturbing trend, my friends.

Fatti, you could be on to something.

Sell, sell, sell.....

Good point, Fat. If those trends continue, he will be a -95 ERA+ pitcher in 2014.

Sell, mortimer, Sell!!!

Arguing for the Phillies to handle injured players intelligently is akin to pissing up a rope. In Worley's case the team is clearly unwilling to bring up another starter, so Vance will risk further damage for the dumbest of reasons.

As a retired physician I can tell you that there is a problem with the Phillies thinking on Worley. Yes, people function with bone chips all the time. I have a bunch of them in a couple of joints. But, there is a downside risk to leaving them in there. Bone chips moving around in the joint increase the amount of inflammation in those joints. They lead to an increased chance of arthritis in the joints.

Will it happen? Not always. It depends on a lot of factors. But I know of no reliable way to predict. So, it's a crapshoot. That's why Hamels was allowed to pitch last season as the Phillies were trying to reach the WS. But this season, with Worley, the Phillies are playing for nothing. Seems foolish to allow this to continue. And as was mentioned above, discomfort in the joint can lead to changes in mechanics and secondary problems that can end up being worse than the original problem. He has lost his two seamer recently. That may be an indication that he's altered his throwing motion.

As a former pitcher, I'll be the first to admit that I can't tell the good Cliff Lee's motion from the Bad Cliff Lee's motion. And I haven't taken a microscope to Worley's motion. But it seems silly to keep sending him out there for no good reason when they could fix the problem and let him work through the fall AND winter to get in shape and recuperate.

NEPP - As someone who got to know Aaron Russo when he ran for governor of NV, I appreciate the Trading Places reference.

Why not just operate on Worley now, remove the chips and let him get a jump on healing instead of missing half of 2013 to recover as is their usual player MO? Why are they pitching him-- to try to nail down 4th place?

Our goal is to finish in 3rd place in the NL East and build on that momentum for next year Phillies' fans!

I have always thought Worley could use better physical conditioning. He appears to tire by the 6th inning. If this is true, he is doing himself a huge disservice. I say shut him down,get the arm fixed, and tell him to come back in great shape in the spring. That being said, I like his ability and view him as a valuable asset.

I agree with J on this one. I don't know if Worley needs to be shut down, but in a lost year, monitor carefully and err on the side of caution with these GD injuries. If they do not shut Vanimal down just so he can put time in, working through whatever is associated with bone chips, and he comes back less than 100% in spring due to lingering injury issues, heads should roll. As in the 12 strokes of the golden sword roll.

It's a simple risk-reward scenario with Worley right now and to me there are zero rewards in having him continue to throw.

I don't know if his conditioning is necessarily a problem as much as the fact that it looks like he frequented the buffet quite a bit in the offseason.

Thanks, Fat. I now know what ERA+ is. Beerleaguer, a fountain of knowledge I tells ya'.

I've often said the same about Joe Blanton. He never appeared to be very well conditioned. He also seemed done after 5 or 6 innings. I'm surprised that the Phillies don't demand great conditioning from all their players.

This for me just makes Jamie Moyer's performance in the '08 WS that much more impressive. Remember that? He had the flu, fever, stomach & intestinal discomfort, and his wife said he was green the night before. Then, because of bad weather, the game didn't even start until 10PM. I don't remember the score, I just remember being impressed with Jamie Moyer that night - - and a bad call by an ump after he made a phenomenal scoop & throw to Howard to make an out that was called safe.

If it wasn't for that blown call by the 1st base umpire in Moyer's game 3 performance in the '08 WS, I'm confident Moyer would have pitched 7 innings of 1 run ball that night. Remember, after Crawford got on, he ended up scoring after 2 ground balls advanced him in. Moyer was a wizard that night, and honestly, I still think he should have retired after that season, with that being the lasting image of his career.

"Arguing for the Phillies to handle injured players intelligently is akin to pissing up a rope."

WOW! I on rare occasion agree with you, GTown, but on this you are correct.

GBrettFan: Even though the Phillies won, I'm still irritated about that call. It was an incredible play.

Wasn't it Moyer's son that quipped that their toilet seat should be in the Hall of Fame.

That was an utterly awesome play for anyone to make...for a 45 year old pitcher playing through a stomach flu? Amazing.

"I still think he should have retired after that season, with that being the lasting image of his career."

Fatti, you are forgetting the fatti contract that Moyer got. For that kind of money he was a lock to keep pitching.

aksmith: I was a doctor/contract negotiator/pitcher/political friend too, but I also was an astronaut, so my opinion is even more important than yours.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The pain! SHUT ME DOWN, YO! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I have a question. Why is it that the heat andhumidity seems to affect our pitchers much more then opposing pitchers? I'm not saying that because of Worley. This is just a side question. I realize Vance was ill last night, but they all seem to wilt in the heat more then other teams pitchers. Maybe I'm wrong here. I don't know.

Yeah Moyer throwing with the skidders was incredible. What a year 08 was.

"If it wasn't for that blown call by the 1st base umpire in Moyer's game 3 performance in the '08 WS, I'm confident Moyer would have pitched 7 innings of 1 run ball that night. Remember, after Crawford got on, he ended up scoring after 2 ground balls advanced him in. Moyer was a wizard that night, and honestly, I still think he should have retired after that season, with that being the lasting image of his career."

100% correct.

The Phils have gotten a lot of timely, clutch performances over the past 5 years, but I think that one is at the top. Or should've been, at least, if not for the blown call. He pitched his best game of the season that night.

DPatrone's source: you can't carry ak's jock.

It would certainly be worthwhile packaging Worley in a trade for a top 3B prospect who is either major-league ready or maybe a year away. Unfortunately, a package with Worley as the key piece is not enough to get a top 3B prospect.

I would not trade Worley for Headley, who is nothing special.

DPatrone - Yeah, like many thousands of others, I am a retired doctor, so my opinion on medical matters is what it is.

And yeah, along with about a dozen other people, I did some surrogate speaking for Aaron Russo, who produced Trading places, when he was running for governor in NV. He was very interested in making NV an alternative medicine center in the U.S.

And, like probably thousands of people, I did negotiate some pretty large contracts for an emergency medicine group.

To my mind, not terribly unique stuff. But that all pales before someone who has an "inside source" who makes up trades that never happen and signings that never happen and . . . well, a lot of stuff that never happens. Please continue with your sarcasm.

Feel better about yourself now?

Fata, had Moyer retired at that point, he defintely would have gone out on top.

Good times.

For everyone feeling down about the Phillies season, here is one of my favorite songs. Todd Rundgren/the late Moogy Klingman.

Iceman: I knew it was our season when the Longoria bomb somehow stayed in the park.

As soon as it left the bat, I turned away from the TV because I just knew it was gone and that the Rays were about to pound Moyer and the weak part of our bullpen. Yet somehow it stayed in the park, Pat caught it at the wall, and Moyer left the inning unscathed. He pitched out of his mind that night, but I still have no idea how that ball stayed in the ballpark.

When Utley hit the HR in Game 1, I knew we would win the WS.

You can't underestimate the importance of momentum of finishing strong by taking 3rd place and how that carries over to next season.

Those September games really do matter and we need the fans out there to help support this team & keep the post All-Star Break surge going!

Nats claimed Izturis. Guess Phils had no need for him.

Wrong Itzuris.

What a lousy season. Even Beerleaguer has deteriorated into some posters going after each other, while others relive 4 year old game memories in boring detail.
Anybody want a piece of me?

Jack, I hear you on that Longo ball staying in the yard. Although, after watching it a few times, he really did under it, and hit it a mile high. in the cool weather of October, it's not quite as surprising, I suppose.

Jack- I remember the collective groan at the bar where we were watching the game. It was an act of God that that shot didn't reach the second deck.

There was another shot Longoria hit in the next game (the one I attended). I have a video on my cell phone because I wanted to capture the "E-VA! E-VA" chant, and he hit it about 450 feet foul just to our left. You could hear a pin drop after that.

What were he and Pena, like 2 for the series? Baseball is a funny game.

Jr. What on earth do the Phillies need with a free agent-to be utility infielder with a .582 season OPS, and .612 career OPS?

I think you're confusing your Izturises. Maicer is the one who has had a pretty decent career. Cesar is the one whom the Nats claimed, and he is wretched.

All this business about Cesar and Maicer Izturis reminds me of a great game they used to play on Baseball Tonight: Name that Molina brother!!!

"Minor is 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA in his past six outings, but five of those have come at home. He lost the lone road game of that stretch on July 23 against the Marlins despite giving up two runs in seven innings.

Minor is 2-5 with a 6.16 ERA in 10 road games this season, losing three straight."

Minor looked like Cy Young last time out against the Phils going 8 IP and having his best outing of the year.

See if they can actually put more than 2 runs against Minor tonight who has been one of the worst road starters in MLB this year.

Just thought he might replace Mini.Who's on 1st,What's on 2nd?


From MLBTradeRumors:

The Marlins expected about 25 percent more fans than they’ve drawn this year, according to’s Buster Olney. The Marlins are averaging 28,406 fans per game, an improvement of more than 10,000 people per game that amounts to the largest increase in the game since last year. Here are more notes from Olney, starting in Miami...

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Fish will almost certainly cut salary significantly next year...and attendance will be right back to where it was before they had a new stadium. And their cheap POS owner will rake in the revenue sharing money and laugh all the way to the bank as always.

Worley should've been pulled earlier (probably before he started). In the third inning, he looked like a beaten man with his head hanging down. Rosenberg should've been allowed to pitch longer. Why pull him with one out in the seventh and no baserunners? All three outfielders looked terrible in the field. How was this team credited with only one error? They should've had at least three and possibly 4.

I did enjoy being able to show up at CBP at the last minute, and have someone offer me 2 tickets in 116 for only $20 apiece. That's something I couldn't have done if we were still competitive. Not for $40.

It was a beautiful night for baseball, gorgeous sky, pleasant breeze, great seats...even though we stunk.

No Mini Mart tonight vs. the lefty.

1. Jimmy Rollins (S) SS
2. Domonic Brown (L) LF
3. Chase Utley (L) 2B
4. Ryan Howard (L) 1B
5. John Mayberry (R) CF
6. Erik Kratz (R) C
7. Nate Schierholtz (L) RF
8. Kevin Frandsen (R) 3B
9. Cole Hamels (L) P

Mayberry and his ~.270 OBP batting fifth. Feel the excitement.

When does the 'move Kratz to the 5-hole' campaign start?

Vance Worley's Pitching Elbow - another classic player body part handle. Wonder what happened to Greg Dobbs' Sideburns?

Dobbs' Sideburns were overrated.

Charlie Manuel kept telling Greg Dobbs to cut those sideburns, but he never did. I think it's what got him traded.


If the thought is that you can't trade Worley because he's a cheaper, younger player, then the exception is to trade him for a cheaper, younger position player. Not unlike the Montero/Pineda deal, you're trading from strength to fill in an area of need.

Added to that idea are some other thoughts
- Worley is a good pitcher, but there's evidence to suggest (some) this is the best he'll ever be.
- 2013 may be the best chance the Phils have at making a run in the next few years.
- Phils will more than likely have a higher payroll, more financial flexibility, than whoever their trading partner is.
- They've conveyed a willingness, FWhateverIW, to go over the lux tax.

Given all that the idea of trading Worley for a younger position player is not controversial. What would be controversial is trading him for a overvalued Hunter Pence type.

Wonder what happened to Greg Dobbs' Sideburns?

Wasn't there a "Tommy Hutton's Wristbands" too?

Not that I would prefer Mini-Mart, but any time Nate Schierholtz is in the starting lineup against a LHP, something has gone horribly wrong with the construction of your roster.

Sophist: I agree entirely with your post.

What I was intimating was that Headley is closer to Pence than to either Montero or Pineda. In that he's about to be relatively expensive and I'm not quite sure you're getting a difference-maker.

There are also a lot more pitchers on the market who could make solid, if average, contributions to fill in the Worley-Blanton loss next year.

I think after all Boorus has contributed to the forum, the least we could do is make a better effort at entertaining him.

What's that? He never posts at all?

In that case, allow me to regale you w/ a random Phillies story from my youth. The time: mid-May, 1989. The place: Veterans Stadium. The attendance: barely 14,000. On the previous evening Bob Dernier had thrilled a similarly anemic crowd by hitting a 12th inning, walk-off, inside-the-park HR. Cable television was not yet available in my boondocks neighborhood, but I felt as though I'd seen it myself while listening to HK's classic call. "What manner of excitement did the Phillies have in store for us tonight?", I wondered. As it turned out, mostly rain. A lot of it. Not to mention the starting pitching of one Mike "The Other" Maddux. And one damn good funnel cake. Oh, I remember it well ...

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