Vance Worley placed on DL, will have bone chips removed

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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.

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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.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.