Tag: Vance Worley

Vance Worley

Vance Worley accepts Pirates’ outright assignment to Triple-A


Pirates pitcher Vance Worley has accepted the team’s outright assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. The Pirates designated him for assignment on July 30, then outrighted him off of the 40-man roster on Friday to create roster space for Joe Blanton.

Worley, 27, has served as a swingman for the Pirates, making eight starts and 12 relief appearances. Across 69 innings, the right-hander has posted a 3.78 ERA with a 47/19 K/BB ratio. He’ll likely return to the majors in September when rosters expand.

Pirates DFA Vance Worley to make room for Joe Blanton

Vance Worley

The Pirates announced that they have DFA’d Vance Worley to make room for Joe Blanton.

Blanton, who was picked up last night from the Royals for cash considerations, was just been DFA’d himself to make room for Johnny Cueto on the roster. He had a 3.89 ERA and a 40/7 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings for the Royals, making four starts and 11 relief appearances.

Worley was 4-5 with a 3.78 ERA and a 47/19 K/BB ratio in 69 innings, making eight starts and 12 relief appearances. Something of a wash, I suppose. But at least we have seen the resumption of the Vance Worley-Joe Blanton merry-go-round we used to see in Philadelphia, where they tended to replace each other on the roster and/or in the rotation on the regular. As if they’re in the same karass or something.


Pirates add Joe Blanton from Royals

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox

Just when you thought the trade deadline couldn’t possibly get any more exciting, the Pirates trumped every other move Wednesday night, landing Joe Blanton in a deal with the Royals.

Cash considerations were the reported return for Kansas City. Blanton had just been DFA’d to make room for Johnny Cueto on the roster.

Blanton had a 3.89 ERA and a 40/7 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings for the Royals, making four starts and 11 relief appearances. The 34-year-old former 16-game winner announced his retirement in 2014 before coming back this year.

The Pirates likely will use Blanton out of the pen and hope that their big ballpark can keep his home run totals down. He could always start if needed, but Vance Worley is ahead of him in line should anything open up.

Francisco Liriano to return to Pirates’ rotation on Thursday following minor neck injury

Francisco Liriano

Pirates southpaw Francisco Liriano was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday against the Brewers just minutes before first pitch due to tightness in his neck. But it’s only a minor thing.

Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Liriano made it through a side session Monday without issue and is scheduled to take his next turn in the rotation this Thursday night versus the Nationals. Vance Worley started in his place on Saturday night at Miller Park and surrendered five runs — four earned — over just four innings.

Liriano owns a stellar 2.98 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 125/39 K/BB ratio in 114 2/3 innings this season for the Pirates, who currently hold the third-best record (54-39) in Major League Baseball. They’re in the midst of a big three-game series in Kansas City.

Jose Tabata is at no fault for ending Max Scherzer’s bid for a perfect game

Jose Tabata

Jose Tabata pinch-hit for Pirates reliever Vance Worley with two outs in the ninth inning, the only man standing between Max Scherzer and the 24th perfect game in baseball history. Scherzer was absolutely dealing and Tabata didn’t look like he was having any fun trying to make contact. He fouled off the first two pitches, worked the count back to 2-2, weakly fouled off three more pitches, and then was hit on his left elbow by a slider.

The video below shows what happened:

Rule 6.08b says:

The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when —


(b) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball;
If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.

Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy thinks Tabata wasn’t at fault, tweeting, “looked like a totally normal reaction from a hitter to an inside breaking ball- why the hate?”

Scherzer threw an 86 MPH slider. At 60 feet, six inches, a batter has less than a half-second with which to react. Considering how much movement Scherzer’s slider has, and how far away the pitch actually was from the strike zone, it’s perfectly reasonable that Tabata would get hit by it and not appear to have made much of an effort in getting out of the way.

But let’s play devil’s advocate here. Let’s say that Tabata intentionally leaned into the pitch to ruin Scherzer’s perfect game. He did it and got away with it, as home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski didn’t interject. How is that any different than a catcher framing a ball outside of the strike zone to increase the probability of a strike call? Both players are attempting to exploit a gray area in order to maximize their teams’ odds of winning.

Some have argued that Tabata should have been up at the plate with the intent of breaking up Scherzer’s perfect game with a hit. Why? Perfect games are special because they’re so hard to attain; they would start to lose their luster if we pressure players into ending them in only certain, approved ways. There have been 24 in baseball history, only a slightly more common occurrence than a four-homer game. If a player has hit three home runs and takes his next at-bat, do we expect the pitcher to throw him a meatball to make his attempt to make baseball history easier? No, the pitcher goes at the hitter with everything he has.

Furthermore, the game was not a done deal. In 999,999 of 1,000,000 iterations of the game state after Tabata was hit — two outs, one on, down by six — the Pirates lose, but Tabata should still have been trying to play for a win irrespective of Scherzer’s bid for a perfect game. His job is to get on base. If that includes getting hit by a pitch at the expense of Scherzer’s perfect game, so be it.

Some have advocated the Nationals throw at Tabata in Sunday’s series finale. Tabata did nothing wrong. That disappointment should be directed at more deserving targets, such as Scherzer for making a poor pitch.

Tabata talks about ending Scherzer’s perfect game:

Scherzer says he doesn’t fault Tabata and would have done the same thing in his position.