Vance Worley has done nothing but dazzle in his brief time in the Majors. He impressed while pitching in a few games in September last season and has two high quality starts this season in place of the injured Joe Blanton. Joe Blanton on the other hand has been awful for two starts and good for the other two starts. He is a veteran under contract through 2012 and is a proven innings eater and winner, which is ideal for the 5th slot in the rotation on this staff. However, Worley is clearly ready for a chance at a full-time MLB gig and has outperformed Blanton. Thing is, Blanton is ready to be activated from the DL. What to do, what to do?
Blanton- $8.5M in both '11 and '12
Worley- $414,000 league minimum
Blanton- 4 GS, 0-1, 24.1 IP, 5.92 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 6:17 BB:K
Worley- 2 GS, 2-0, 12 IP, 0.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 4:12 BB:K
Blanton- 199 G, 194 GS, 72-61, 1226.2 IP, 4.33 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 341:794 BB:K
Worley- 7 G, 4 GS, 3-1, 25 IP, 1.08 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 8:24 BB:K
Worley was drafted out of Long Beach State in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft. His professional debut was successful in '08, going 3-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 13 starts in two Single-A stops. Then in 2009 he hit a speed bump, seeing his ERA rocket to 5.34 in 27 starts for the Double-A Reading Phillies. He bounced back nicely last year with a 10-7 record and 3.36 ERA in stops in Double-A and Triple-A. To begin this year he sported a 2.78 ERA in 4 starts with Lehigh Valley. The kid knows how to pitch. Added bonus- he seems to know how to handle the bat too (2-4 this year and has 2 minore league HR).
Since I like to play GM, I will. Send Worley down to Triple-A for about a month, while Joe makes 4-5 decent starts in the month of May. Then once Blanton proves he's healthy and pitching good enough to be traded, swap him for a prospect, reliever, or bench bat and recall Worley ASAP. Assure Worley he did everything right and that he is in the organization's short-term and long-term plans and will be an integral part of the team this season. With this the Phillies are able to get salary relief and possibly employ the better pitcher in the rotation.
I appreciate all that Blanton has done for this organization, but it is time to get cheaper, younger, and possibly better.