Something has not been right with Vance Worley for a month now.
He hasn’t gone deep in games, and hitters hit him well when they face him a second time in the game. This is not the pitcher the Phillies are used to seeing.
After watching Worley being taken out of the game for blowing a 4-1 lead last night, it’s time to shut him down for the season. He should have his surgery right now rather than continue to pitch with bone chips in his elbow. This way, he can get it over with and be ready for next season.
There’s no point having him pitch if he is going to give outings like last night. The numbers were ugly as he gave up four runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Mets in the Phillies’ 9-5 loss last night at Citizens Bank Park. He was laboring for most of the night, as he fell behind the count often.
Enough is enough. It’s hard to watch Worley take his time in getting out of the inning. It’s tough to see him get knocked around. If a starter can’t go deep in games, he shouldn’t be in the rotation.
Worley started off fine when he was activated from the disabled list. He pitched six innings a couple of times, and he also pitched seven innings in a few games. He gave up two runs in two of those starts, and three in the other two starts.
Since Worley’s start on July 20 against the Giants, he has been terrible. He gave up six runs on six hits against the Giants in that outing. Then, he gave up ten hits against the Brewers as he pitched through jams on July 25. He gave up four runs and six hits against the Braves on Aug. 6. He gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Brewers on Aug. 17.
Worley is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in his last five starts, and he has been 2-4 with a 5.33 ERA since the post All-Star break.
These numbers is a good indication that Worley has been ineffective. He has been a hitting machine as he gave up 60 hits since the All-Star break. His fastball does not scare hitters anymore. There’s a good chance his elbow is hindering him to pitch effectively.
It’s hard to expect a starter to pitch great after being on the disabled list for a long time. That’s the case with Worley right now.
The Phillies can’t pitch Worley every five days if he continues to struggle. There is no point seeing him put the team in a position to lose games. If he has nothing, they are doing him and themselves a disservice.
One has to figure that it’s going to happen at some point. The question is when it will happen. It could be two weeks from now, but waiting that long would be a mistake. If he was pitching okay, then it’s understandable that he could pitch for two more weeks.
With Worley being shut down, this would give Tyler Cloyd an opportunity to see what he can do as a starter after pitching well for Triple A Leigh Valley with a 12-1 record and a 2.35 ERA.
Eventually, the Phillies have to see what Cloyd can do. This would be good timing for him to do. He can’t be any worse than what Worley is giving right now.
This is not about Worley being ineffective. This is about him being ready for next year. The Phillies can’t afford to have him at less than 100 percent when the team meets up in Clearwater for spring training. They cannot afford to have another season like this one.
Worley is expected to be an integral part of the rotation next year. He is good enough to win 12 games if he can get his stuff together. That’s why it’s important to have his surgery done now rather than wait for later. They are going to need him to be good if they want to compete for the NL East next year.
Looking at that perspective, it is imperative the Phillies don’t waffle about making a decision about Worley. They have to be decisive for him to be ready for next year.
Worley did all he could. He should be commended for coming back from the disabled list. He started off fine by pitching some good games in June, but he just could not keep it up as the weeks went on.
He can talk all he wants about how his elbow is fine, but his performance tells a different story.
For Worley’s sake, this should be his last outing of the year.