Pitching Ad-Vance-ment? Orioles add Vance Worley

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Orioles acquire Vance Worley
Vance Worley (46) pitching in a game last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On Tuesday, October 20th, the Baltimore Orioles acquired pitcher Vance Worley through waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in 23 games and made 8 starts with the Pirates. Drafted in the 3rd round in ’08 by Philadelphia, Worley climbed the ladder quickly to the majors, making his debut only two years later. In 2011, he posted an 11-3 record, with an ERA just over 3, and earning the nickname, the “Vanimal” in the process. The Vanimal finished 3rd the National League Rookie of the Year voting. After the best season of his young career, his ERA spiked up to a 4.20, winning only 6 games in 23 starts.

Vance Worley (46) pitching in a game last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Vance Worley (46) pitching in a game last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Philadelphia traded him to Minnesota that off-season. In the 2013 season, he split time with the Twins and their AAA team. After his disappointing decline to his career, it was revived a little once he was claimed off waivers to Pittsburgh, making some positive relief appearances. However, he was still splitting time in the minors both seasons he was there.
And now his career takes him to Birdland. The O’s have some questions on the rotation, and if he pitches well in Spring Training, he can perhaps regain a position in being a starting pitcher again.

Some people say he has fallen off, literally.

worley falls


This is a good opportunity not only for Worley to prove himself, but for Baltimore perhaps finding a potentially quality starting pitcher. Baltimore needs some starting pitching help. O’starters were almost at the very bottom of categories such as innings pitched, ERA, and wins. The last time an Orioles starter pitched the entire game was Scott Feldman, a name Orioles fans despise now. Feldman was acquired (along with Steve Clevenger) from Chicago for a pitcher with the name of Jake Arrieta- and also Pedro Strop. He owns the Orioles last complete game pitched by a starting pitcher, which was on September 6th, 2013, one day after my 17th birthday.

Worley is a definite option to contend to be a starter on the Orioles. Wei Yin Chen is the only Oriole starter that is a free agent, but has a qualifying offer with the team to come back. The Orioles need to make changes to their staff. Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez are are inconsistent, and Chris Tillman, their opening day starter, also had an inconsistent season. Unloading either Jimenez and Gonzalez wouldn’t be too bad of an idea. Jimenez has a decent sized contract, so it would free up money for the Orioles. Plus I feel both these pitchers need a change of scenery. Tyler Wilson made some quality starts towards the end of last season. He has potential to be quality starter the Orioles need. Kevin Gausman ended the season strongly. The former LSU Tiger has been up and down, from AAA to Baltimore and also his pitching. Gausman will get better. In a bold prediction for 2016, I have him winning 15 games. Here’s how Baltimore’s 2016 starting rotation could look:

  1. Chen
  2. Tillman
  3. Gausman
  4. Jimenez/Gonzalez
  5. Worley/Mike Wright/Wilson/FA

Seeing Gausman and Worley shut down batters would be favorable. “Specxy” nicknames could come about if they succeed together. Some that I have come up with are:

Well, it was harder than I thought. The best one I came up with was “Didn’t See it Koming” which is more like a caption instead of a nickname, but oh well. Perhaps a backwards “K” too.

Good luck Vance WOrley!

Vance Worley (The Vanimal)
The Vanimal: In Orange. Graphic created by Sam Lee