VANCE WORLEY
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: September 25, 1987
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 3rd Round, 102nd overall, 2008 (Rangers)
How Acquired: Trade with Twins (for cash)
College: California State Univ. Long Beach
Agent: Wasserman Media Group

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Worley is a back-of-the-rotation starter who relies on fastball location and groundballs.  His fastball averaged a little over 91 mph when he first got to the majors, but it dropped steadily, possibly due to elbow and shoulder issues, until it’s now about two mph slower.  His main secondary pitch is a slider, and he also throws a curve and change.  None of these are plus pitches.  He hasn’t had a platoon split; in fact, he’s been slightly more effective against left-handed than right-handed batters.  After initial success in the majors with the Phillies, Worley struggled increasingly while missing time with elbow and shoulder problems.  The Pirates acquired him from the Twins in a cash transaction.

2008
A-:  0-0-0, 1.12 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 8.0 IP, 1.1 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
A:  3-2-0, 2.66 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 61.0 IP, 1.0 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

Worley had little trouble with the hitters in short season and low class A ball.  Baseball America ranked him the Phillies’ 16th best prospect after the season.

2009
AA:  7-12-0, 5.34 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 153.1 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 5.9 K/9

The Phillies jumped Worley up to AA and he had considerably more trouble, although he wasn’t as bad as his ERA indicates.  He did have some trouble with gopher balls, allowing 17.  He missed far fewer bats.  Worley seems to have tired; after pitching well the first two months, he saw his ERA rise to 4.78, 9.49 and 5.65 from June through August.

2010
AA:  9-4-0, 3.20 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 112.2 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 6.6 K/9
AAA:  1-3-0, 3.77 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 45.1 IP, 2.0 BB/9, 7.1 K/9
MLB:  1-1-0, 1.38 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 8.3 K/9

Worley returned to AA and posted a much better ERA, although his other numbers were largely the same aside from a lower HR rate.  The Phillies called him up briefly in late July and he got into one inning.  They sent him to AAA after that and he pitched better than he had in AA.  He returned to the majors in September and got into four games, two of them starts.

2011
AAA:  5-2-0, 2.31 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 50.2 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 8.9 K/9
MLB:  11-3-0, 3.01 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 131.2 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 8.1 K/9

Worley opened the season in AAA, but he ended up spending most of the season in the Phillies’ rotation, mainly as a replacement for the injured Joe Blanton.  He pitched surprisingly well, even posting a very good K rate, and finished third in the NL rookie of the year balloting.

2012
MLB:  6-9-0, 4.20 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 133.0 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 7.2 K/9

Worley had much less success than the previous year, with his opponents’ OPS jumping from .673 to .806.  He struggled with elbow problems, missing most of May due to inflammation and all of September due to “loose bodies.”  Worley pitched well in April and June, but began struggling before both of the disabled list stints.  After the season, the Phillies traded him to Minnesota.

2013
AAA:  6-3-0, 3.88 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 58.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 5.3 K/9
MLB:  1-5-0, 7.21 ERA, 1.99 WHIP, 48.2 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 4.6 K/9

Worley got hammered in the early going with the Twins and they optioned him to AAA in May.  He ended up missing about a third of the season with right shoulder inflammation.

The Twins added a lot of pitchers after the 2013 season and, when Worley struggled badly during spring training, they put him on waivers and outrighted him to AAA after he went unclaimed.  A few days later they sent him to the Pirates for cash.  His increasing struggles in 2012-13 seem to have at least some connection to arm problems, but his poor spring showing doesn’t provide much reason to think he’s over them.  He has no options left, but because the Twins had already outrighted him, the Pirates don’t have to add him to the 40-man roster.  He was slated to stay in extended spring training to get stretched out to start, and was expected to join the Indianapolis rotation in the early season.

UPDATE:  Worley pitched mostly well in AAA and, when the Pirates lost both Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano to the disabled list (having already lost Jameson Taillon and released Wandy Rodriguez), they called him up to join the rotation.  Since he has no options left, he’ll probably move ahead of Brandon Cumpton and maybe Jeff Locke on the depth chart, assuming he pitches decently.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2012: $495,000
2013: $525,000
2014: Major League Minimum
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $355,000
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: 7/24/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 7/21/10
Options Remaining: 0 (USED:  2010, 2011, 2013)
MLB Service Time: 2.033
TRANSACTIONS
June 8, 2005: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 20th round, 607th overall pick.
June 5, 2008:
Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 3rd round, 102nd overall pick; signed on June 11.
July 21, 2010:
Contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies.
December 6, 2012: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for Ben Revere.
March 21, 2014: Outrighted to AAA by the Minnesota Twins.
March 25, 2014: Traded by the Minnesota Twins to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash.
June 15, 2014: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.