UPDATE: After all that talk about how the bone chips weren’t hurting Worley’s performance the Phillies just announced that he’s headed to the disabled list and will undergo the surgery within the next 10 days. The lesson? Sometimes when something seems obvious it is, even when the people involved claim it isn’t.
Once the season ends Vance Worley will have surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow, but in the meantime the Phillies right-hander is continuing to pitch through the discomfort. And his performance continues to be awful.
Worley failed to make it out of the fifth inning against the Mets last night and has now allowed 18 runs on 39 hits and 10 walks in 24 innings over his last five starts.
Yet afterward Worley insisted that the bone chips in his elbow aren’t to blame for his struggles, telling Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:
It hasn’t affected me. I’m just not getting pitches where I need to get them. It’s all about pitch location. That’s why I got beat tonight and pulled from the game. I don’t feel anything at all. I’m just having a tough stretch.
So according to Worley it hasn’t had an impact on his performance, yet his performance has been really bad and the issue will require offseason surgery to fix. That’s a helluva coincidence.
Manager Charlie Manuel also told Salisbury that the team hasn’t considered shutting down Worley:
He tells me he’s fine and the trainers tell me he’s fine. That’s what I have to go by. We have the best doctors, supposedly, in the world. I go on what they tell me. He gets checked regularly. What he tells me, I’ve got to believe him.
Meanwhile, since July 1 he’s started 11 games with a 5.80 ERA and .350 opponents’ batting average.
Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.
No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.
Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.
Set some time aside to read this today.
This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.
De La Rosa has had elbow issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.
I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.
He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.