Friday, July 01, 2011

What to do with Worley

By Christiaan DeFranco

Psst... I have an idea: How about the Phillies KEEP Vance Worley?

I know, I know, it's a radical suggestion. Most people I've heard think the Phillies should trade him for a right-handed bat.

After all, a budding young pitcher is a hot commodity. In fact, it might be the most valuable commodity in the sport. Every team wants one, and now that the Phils are lucky enough to have one, the savvy move would be to deal him away.



Dead wrong.

Stupid. Idiotic. Moronic.

Even if your team has the likes of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, an old baseball truism applies: You can never have enough starting pitching.

Yet lots of Phillies fans seem to be thinking, "Eh, we have enough."

Maybe they just don't believe Worley will turn out to be anything, that he's just another prospect in a sea of prospects that come and go like the tides. Maybe they overlook the fact that he held the Red Sox — baseball's best offense — to one run in seven innings. Or that he took a no-hitter into the sixth against the A's. Or that his career ERA in the majors so far is 2.29.

I happen to think he's legit, the real deal. I've thought so since I first saw him pitch. He's got the mentality it takes to be a big-time pitcher. He's got the toughness, the fiery competitive drive, the innate maturity, the work ethic, the attention to detail, the will and the need to succeed. He belongs and he knows he belongs. When he's on the mound, it's his mound. He owns it. And if a hitter gets comfortable at the plate, Worley will zing one high and tight.

That makeup is what Roy Halladay likes about him, too. That's why Halladay has taken a special interest in him.

Halladay and I could be wrong, of course, but then it's back to the question of having enough starting pitching. Oswalt is on the DL for nobody knows how long. Joe Blanton has been on the DL since before anyone can remember. And Hamels just injured his non-throwing hand.

So, after Halladay and Lee, who's left in the rotation — Kyle Kendrick?

What if somebody else goes down?

The fact is, the Phillies need Worley. Not only does he represent their future, he is a key component of their present.

They could use a right-handed bat, but trading away Vance Worley isn't the way to get it.

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