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.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.