Results tagged ‘ Vance Worley ’

Phillies, Lannan Agree to Deal

johnlannan1The Phillies not only found their setup man this weekend, they also found their fifth starter.

Sources confirmed the Phillies have agreed to terms with right-hander Mike Adams to be their setup man and left-hander John Lannan to be their fifth starter. first reported the Lannan deal. CBS Sports reported Lannan has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

The deals are pending physicals.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently they were looking for a low-risk, high-reward starter to replace Vance Worley, who the Phillies shipped to Minnesota in the Ben Revere trade. Lannan seems to fit the bill.

Lannan, 28, is 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 starts in his career, which he has spent entirely with the Nationals. But Lannan, who has started twice for the Nationals on Opening Day, became expendable in a stacked Washington rotation.

He is a groundball pitcher, which could help him at Citizens Bank Park, although he has a 6.49 ERA in eight career starts in Philadelphia.

But the Phillies wanted a veteran presence to fill out the back of the rotation, which includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick.

Phillies Acquire Revere, Worley and May To Twins

The Phillies will not leave the Winter Meetings empty handed.

Multiple sources confirmed to this morning the Phillies have acquired outfielder Ben Revere in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. Right-hander Vance Worley and right-handed prospect Trevor May are headed to Minnesota in the deal.

Revere hit .294 with 13 doubles, six triples, 32 RBIs, 40 stolen bases and 70 runs scored in 511 at-bats last season. He also carried a .333 on-base percentage and a .342 slugging percentage.

“If they get him, based on what’s available, they did all right,” one high-ranking American League executive said this morning. “He’s a solid average player. That’s how I look at him. He’s above average defensively. He can run. My biggest question, considering his size (5-foot-9, 170 pounds), is if he can play 145, 150 games. But he puts the ball in play better than I thought he would.”

CBS reported in the early morning hours the Phillies had targeted Revere as an option in CF. Things clearly picked up with Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick holding separate conversations this morning with Twins general manager Terry Ryan.

The Phillies lose Worley, who projected to be their fourth or fifth starter. They also lost May, who had been their top prospect entering last season.

Because Revere is not yet eligible for salary arbitration, he comes relatively cheap, which would seem to allow the Phillies to continue to pursue a desperately needed corner outfielder with power. They are deep in negotiations with Rangers for infielder Michael Young, who would play third base if he accepted a trade.

Phils Pick Up Chooch’s Option

Carlos Ruiz had been one of the best hitters in baseball before he suffered a foot injury in August.

So it came to nobody’s surprise today when the Phillies picked up the $5 million club option for next season. The Phillies had a $500,000 buyout, but there was no way they were going to take that. Ruiz hit .325 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .935 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 114 games this season.

The Phillies declined their side of a $5.5 million mututal option with Placido Polanco. They will pay him a $1 million buyout instead. They also declined a $2.5 million option for Jose Contreras and a $4 million option for Ty Wigginton. Both will receive $500,000 buyouts.

Juan Pierre and Brian Schneider also became free agents, although neither are likely to be back.

Free agents are eligible to negotiate and sign with any team beginning at 12:01 a.m. EST Saturday.


Also,’s Jake Kaplan caught up yesterday with Vance Worley. Read the story about Worley’s rehab from elbow surgery here.

Shut Down Worley? Not In Phils’ Plans

Passing this along because I’ve been asked constantly about it …

Vance Worley is pitching with a bone chip in his right elbow and is 2-3 with a 5.73 ERA in eight starts since the end of June.

So, naturally, a lot of fans have been asking if the Phillies could shut down Worley the remainder of the season, despite the fact Worley maintains the injury is not a factor in his recent struggles. The school of thought is Worley could have a surgical procedure to remove the bone chips and begin his road to recovery sooner rather than later.

But the Phillies said there has been no discussion about that.

“My understanding is the issue isn’t going to take a whole offseason to recover from,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. “As long as he can still pitch and there’s not a risk of him hurting himself … and from everything I understand there’s no issue there. He’s pitched some good games, he’s pitched some bad games. You’ve got to remember last year was his first time around. The second time around you’ve got to make adjustments. My impression is (Worley’s struggles) are not related to the issue.

“I haven’t been involved in any discussions whatsoever with shutting him down.”

One thing worth noting: Cole Hamels pitched with a bone chip last season, had surgery in the offseason and was throwing well before spring training started.

Oswalt? Phillies Have Other Fish to Fry

Vance Worley is out. Kyle Kendrick is in.

The Phillies said Worley has inflammation, but no structural damage in his right elbow. They think it is mild, so they will keep him from throwing for a week. If he looks and feels OK at that point, he could begin his throwing program. They are hopeful he misses only a few starts.

But what happens if Worley doesn’t come back as expected? Or what happens if the Phillies lose another starter?

Who do they turn to? The Phillies don’t have much depth at all after Kendrick.

“The depth is an issue for us,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “I think it is for a lot of clubs, but depth is an issue, and if we’ve got to reach down and grab somebody else if somebody else goes down, we’ll have to get somebody who’s pitching as well … and make that assessment of who that guy is.”

Worley’s injury brought up an interesting name today: Roy Oswalt.

Could the Phillies bring him back, much like they brought back Pedro Martinez midseason in 2009? I speculated they could do just that during Spring Training. But one issue with Oswalt is how much he would want to be paid. I’m sure the Phillies would like to save some money for the bullpen or a bat come trade deadline time.

“We think he’s throwing,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Oswalt. “I guess he is. But right now what I’m worried about is our team playing better. That’s my focus right now. I feel comfortable with the starters we have. If we get to the point where we’re not comfortable with him then that might be something we explore. But I will tell you that right now I’m happy with our guys the way we are right now, unless something changes. I think we’ve got other fish to fry right now.”


Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Hunter’s Homer, Worley’s Hurt, Diekman Impressive

Ah, Chicago, Milwaukee’s little brother to the south.

The Phillies got into town last night following a 4-3 victory over Houston in 10 innings. Some crazy things happened in that game, but perhaps none as crazy as Hunter Pence‘s error in the ninth inning that allowed the tying run to score and his game-winning homer in the 10th. (To be fair, a double followed Pence’s error, so the tying run would have scored anyway, but Pence has had his troubles in right field this season and fans have let him hear it.) Elias Sports Bureau found that over the last 30 years only two other players have hit a game-winning home run after making an error that allowed the tying run or go-ahead run to score.

The others? Drum roll please …

Juan Uribe (Aug. 8, 2007) and Jimmy Rollins (June 23, 2010).


The Phillies today placed Vance Worley on the DL with right elbow inflammation. Worley said yesterday he wasn’t worried, but whenever a pitcher has discomfort in his elbow it’s a concern. We don’t know how serious the injury is, but we should learn more today at the ballpark, so check back later for an update.


Jake Diekman looked great in his big-league debut yesterday. The Phillies put him into a high-leverage situation and he excelled. If he continues to pitch like that it will be interesting to see how quickly he moves up the bullpen’s food chain because the Phillies desperately need late-inning stability. Antonio Bastardo has looked much better recently, which is encouraging, but Chad Qualls has a 7.36 ERA in his last nine appearances dating to April 24 and Jose Contreras isn’t reliable. He has a 9.00 ERA in 10 appearances, allowing at least one base runner in eight appearances.

One thing on the Phillies using Jonathan Papelbon in a non-save situation Monday: the Phillies often use their late-inning relievers after they have warmed up, even after the game situation has changed. I thought they might have used Diekman in the ninth Monday, but when Papelbon entered the game I wasn’t like, “Holy crap! What are they doing?!?!” I said, “Well, I guess they wanted Papelbon to pitch because he’s already warmed up.” I’m not sure if Papelbon would have been available to pitch Tuesday if he hadn’t pitched Monday, but in my opinion it comes back to this: It wouldn’t be an issue if they had more reliable arms in the bullpen. For example, in 2010 Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee could chose from Brad Lidge (2.96 ERA), Ryan Madson (2.55 ERA), Chad Durbin (3.80 ERA) and Contreras (3.34 ERA). Manuel and Dubee are incredibly shorthanded right now, which is why they really could use Diekman to step up.


Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Worley Has Elbow Soreness

The last thing the Phillies need is an injury to one of their starting pitchers.

But Vance Worley (3-2, 3.07 ERA) did not make the team’s trip to Chicago this evening and will miss tomorrow night’s start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field because of soreness in his right elbow. Worley will be examined tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Left-hander Joe Savery reportedly is on his way to Chicago, and could replace Worley on the roster if it is decided he needs to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Right-hander Kyle Kendrick will start tomorrow.

Worley said he has felt some discomfort in the elbow for about a month, but has been able to pitch through it.

“It’s something I can pitch on, but it’s just bothering me enough where I want another opinion on it,” he said.

Asked how concerned he is, he said, “I’m not worried. I just want to confirm what it is. That’s all.”


Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Doc Gets Opening Day, Hamels Gets Home Opener

We asked nicely today, so Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee revealed his rotation to open the 2012 season:

  • April 5 in Pittsburgh: Roy Halladay
  • April 7 in Pittsburgh: Cliff Lee
  • April 8 in Pittsburgh: Vance Worley
  • April 9 vs. Miami: Cole Hamels

Dubee explained.

“Cole has had more experience,” said Dubee, asked why Hamels gets the home opener. “Hell, he’s pitched in the World Series. The big flag is out there. Not that Vance can’t handle it, but it’s a little bit of a hectic day. Any of our guys deserve to pitch the home opener or the opener of the season. This way it lines up where Cole gets it. It splits our lefties. It doesn’t put Vance in that situation. Cole is more accustomed to pitching with a lot of hoopla around.”

It is unclear when Joe Blanton would pitch, but because of two off days between the season opener April 5 and the fifth game of the season April 11, it is likely Halladay pitches April 11.

“I don’t think we’re going to let Doc sit around for seven or eight days,” Dubee said. “That’s too much.”


Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

Finally, A ‘W’

Is everybody feeling better?

A few notes from yesterday’s s victory over the Mets, which snapped an eight-game losing streak:

  • You could feel a little extra energy in the clubhouse before the 9-4 victory because players knew they finally had their everyday lineup on the field. It was just the fifth time they’ve that since Hunter Pence joined the team. (They’re 5-0 in those games.) It was just the 16th time this season they’ve had that, including Domonic Brown or Ben Francisco. (They’re 12-4 in those games.)
  • Roy Halladay improved to 19-6. Halladay (2005-11) will be the sixth pitcher in baseball history to finish at least seven games over .500 in seven or more consecutive seasons. The other pitchers to do that are in the Hall of Fame: Tim Keefe (seven years, 1883-89), John Clarkson (nine, 1884-92), Kid Nichols (nine, 1890-98), Christy Mathewson (12, 1903-14) and Lefty Grove (seven, 1927-33).
  • Antonio Bastardo continues to struggle. He is saying the slider doesn’t feel good coming out of his hand. I’ve got to think his confidence is shot, too. Whatever the case, Bastardo has three games to figure out things before the postseason. He said he hopes to pitch one or two more times to see if he can get that feel back. If he can’t? I think they go with the right-handers. (What other choice do they have?) We saw Vance Worley taking over for Bastardo in the seventh inning. He could be an option, along with Mike Stutes and Brad Lidge.


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Losing Ugly

The magic numbers:

  • 1- to clinch the Wild Card.
  • 5 – to clinch the National League East.
  • 7 – to clinch home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Are you pretty confident the Phillies are going to win the division? Do you have tickets to a game this week at Citizens Bank Park? Can you be a little selfish at times? (Come on, admit it.) Yes? Well, then you might not have totally minded Monday’s loss — as sloppy as it was. Because it guaranteed the Phillies cannot clinch the division this week in Houston, which means they should clinch at home during their eight-day, 10-game homestand.


Roy Oswalt didn’t have a good night, although his defense failed him at times. With just a few starts remaining before the postseason, Oswalt remains the fourth starter in my mind. It’s either Oswalt or Vance Worley, and I have to stick with Oswalt. Worley deserves a chance to pitch, but you only need four starters and Oswalt cannot be much of a reliever while Worley has shown he can pitch effectively out of the bullpen. Plus, he’s Roy Oswalt. I’ve got to think when the postseason comes Oswalt will elevate his play.


Oswalt allowed five runs on 11 hits as a first-time opponent in Houston. He allowed at least five runs and 10 hits in only three of 149 starts at the ballpark when he pitched for the Astros, according to Elias Sports Bureau.


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