Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vance Worley walks off the field after being pulled by manager Charlie Manuel against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
Wednesday, the Phillies placed Worley on the Disabled List and he's expected to have season-ending surgery soon.
For Worley, it's been a tale of two seasons.
Last season, Vance Worley threw 132 innings.
This season, Vance Worley has thrown 133 innings.
Last season, he went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA.
This season, he's 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA.
The difference between last year and this year? It's not the strikeouts, the walks, the home runs; the things a pitcher can control. The difference is that last year gave up a perfectly normal .283 batting average on batted balls in play, and this year he's given up a .340 BABiP, one of the highest figures in the majors. Last year Worley was a little bit lucky, and this year he's been a lot unlucky.
So we should resist the temptation to look at Worley's 6-9 record and his 4.20 ERA and simply yell, "Bone chips!"
That said, Worley's been struggling recently, for which we probably can blame those bone chips. In five August starts, Worley has struck out only 12 batters (while walking 11) in 26⅔ innings. Also, when he pitches his elbow hurts. Which doesn't sound like much fun.