Vance Worley

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Vance Worley
Vance Worley on May 1,2016.jpg
Worley with the Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals – No. 50
Born: (1987-09-25) September 25, 1987 (age 29)
Sacramento, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
July 24, 2010, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record 33–30
Earned run average 3.75
Strikeouts 447

Vance Richard Worley (born September 25, 1987), nicknamed "The Vanimal",[1][2] is an American professional baseball pitcher in the Washington Nationals organization. He previously played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Baltimore Orioles.

Early career[edit]

After graduating from McClatchy High School in Sacramento, California, Worley was drafted by the Phillies in 2005, in the 20th round, but he decided to go to college instead. He attended Cal State Long Beach (Long Beach State) and pitched for the 49ers baseball team.[2][3]

In 2008, Worley was again selected by the Phillies, this time in the third round (102nd overall) of the MLB amateur draft.[4]

In 2009, Worley moved up to the Double-A Reading Phillies; his record was 7–12 with a 5.34 ERA.[2]

After two poor starts to begin the 2010 season, Worley's next 17 AA starts resulted in a 2.70 ERA over 103.3 innings, ending with a three-hit shutout on July 9.[2] Worley also started eight games for the Philadelphia's AAA club, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. His full-year minor league mark was 10–7 with a 3.36 ERA.[5]

Major-league career[edit]

Philadelphia Phillies[edit]

Worley was called up to the majors for the first time on July 21, 2010.[4] He made his major league debut on July 24, 2010, against the Colorado Rockies. He pitched the ninth inning, retiring the side in order and striking out two. He was returned to the minors after the game to make room for J. A. Happ on the Phillies' active roster.[6]

On September 6, Worley was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and added to the active roster as a September callup.[7] He made his first Major League start that day, pitching in the first game of a doubleheader against the Florida Marlins. Worley pitched well, allowing only two runs on six hits while striking out five; however, the Phillies offense failed to give him any run support, getting only three hits against Marlins rookie Adalberto Méndez. Worley was lifted in the bottom of the fifth inning for pinch hitter Domonic Brown, and the Phillies went on to lose the game, 7–1.[8] Worley earned his first major league win against the Washington Nationals on September 19 of the same year while pitching in relief. He finished the 2010 season with a 1 and 1 record and 1.38 ERA in 5 games (2 starts).

Worley pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011

On April 29, 2011, Worley was called up to the majors to be the team's fifth starter when Joe Blanton was put on the disabled list. He made his first start that day pitching 6 shutout innings, as the Phillies went on to win, 10–3, giving Worley the win. He continued to pitch well, winning his second start allowing only four hits, walking none, and striking out seven in allowing only one run in six innings. Proving he can hit as well as pitch, Worley went 2 for 4 with a RBI in his first two starts. On May 16, 2011, Vance Worley was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley in order for him to remain a starting pitcher following Roy Oswalt's return from the disabled list.

Worley was once again called up to the majors on May 22, following Blanton's return to the disabled list. After a poor start against the New York Mets, allowing 5 earned runs (8 total) in 2 innings, Worley was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley in order for Mike Zagurski to be called up to the major leagues.

In mid-June, Worley was called back up to the Majors to start after three strong starts in triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Vance threw his first career complete game on July 26, versus the San Francisco Giants. He allowed 3 hits, a walk, and two runs, both earned, including a home run to former Phillies outfielder Aaron Rowand, while striking out five.

Vance continued to pitch well and by September 8, 2011, he had an 11–1 record and a 2.85 earned run average in 20 games (18 starts). At that time the Phillies won each of his 14 previous starts, including games where Worley did not receive a decision.[9] But after losing two of his next 3 starts, Worley was relegated to the bullpen for the remainder of the season. He closed the season with an 11–3 record and a 3.01 ERA.

For much of the year, Worley was caught by Brian Schneider, the Phillies backup catcher. The duo developed a great rapport and Worley's ERA was a full run lower when Schneider was his battery mate.

Baseball America named Worley as one of the five starting pitchers on its All-Rookie Team.[10]

Worley finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, behind winner Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman.

Worley started off the 2012 season 3–2 before being sent to the Disabled List with a bone chip in his elbow. His surgery to remove the bone chip was scheduled to be after the season, but after unsuccessful months of July and August, Worley was shut down for the season and sent to the DL for his surgery.

Minnesota Twins[edit]

Worley pitching for the Minnesota Twins in 2013

On December 6, 2012 he was traded, along with Trevor May, to the Minnesota Twins for Ben Revere.[11] On April 1, 2013, Worley made his first Opening Day start against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field in Minneapolis. On May 22, 2013 he was sent down to Triple A Rochester Red Wings for control problems. He was outrighted off the roster on March 21, 2014.

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

On March 25, 2014, the Twins traded Worley to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash considerations.[12] He spent the first half of the season playing for the Pirates' AAA affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians. Worley made his first start for the Pirates on June 15. After beginning the 2015 season in the starting rotation as a replacement for Charlie Morton who was on the DL, Worley was returned to the bullpen as a reliever upon Morton's return. Worley was designated for assignment by the Pirates on July 30 to make room for Joe Blanton, acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Royals. He was outrighted back to the Indianapolis Indians on August 7 after clearing waivers.[13]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

On October 20, 2015, Worley was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles from the Pirates.[14] Worley made the Orioles Opening Day roster and was the starter for their fifth game of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays. After cruising through three innings, Worley allowed a solo home run in the fourth. Then after what appeared to be the end of the inning in the fifth, but actually turned out to be a catcher's interference, which extended to the inning and cost Worley a run, he was pulled after 4.2 innings pitched. He allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five batters. On December 2, 2016 Worley was non-tendered by the Orioles, making him a free agent.

Washington Nationals[edit]

Worley signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals on January 28, 2017. Under the terms of the deal, as reported by SB Nation, he will participate in major league spring training and will receive a $1 million salary if promoted to the major league roster, along with $1.65 million more in possible incentives.[15]

Pitching style[edit]

Worley throws four pitches routinely. His primary pitch, a four-seam fastball runs 89–92 mph. He also has a two-seam fastball at 88–92, and his main off-speed pitch is a slider at 85–87  mph. Worley also sometimes adds a curveball in the mid-to-upper 70s. On rare occasions, he also features a changeup against left-handed hitters.[16]


Worley's mother, Shirley, is Chinese. She was born in Hong Kong and moved to the United States as a child. His father's name is Scott.[3]

He lives in Philadelphia.[17]


  1. ^ "Vance Worley Promptly Optioned to Lehigh Valley". Philly Sports Daily. July 4, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gelb, Matt (August 28, 2011). "Vance and Vanimal: How the Phillies' Worley got his swagger". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Salisbury, Jim (May 2, 2011). "Salisbury: Worley, Stutes and the intriguing '08 draft". Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Gonzalez, Alden (July 21, 2010). "Phillies call up Worley, send down Carpenter: Double-A right-hander rides hot streak into big leagues". Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Schonbrun, Zach (July 24, 2010). "Worley sent down as Happ called up". Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Press Release: Phillies Select Robertson, Recall Worley and Zagurski from Triple-A". MLB Advanced Media, L.P. September 6, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ Radano, Mike (September 6, 2010). "Phillies' bats stifled in Game 1 loss to Fish: Worley's solid first start goes for naught vs. Mendez and Co.". MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  9. ^ bio of Worley Retrieved 2011-09-08
  10. ^ Eddy, Matt (October 21, 2011). "Infield, Pitching Staff Highlight 2011 Rookie Team". Baseball America. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  11. ^ Goessling, Ben (December 6, 2012). "Minnesota Twins trade Ben Revere for Phillies' Vance Worley, Trevor May". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Pirates acquire RHP Vance Worley from Twins". Associated Press. March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Vance Worley to start for Pirates". Associated Press. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Byrne, Connor (January 28, 2017). "Nationals, Vance Worley Agree To Minor League Deal". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: Vance Worley". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Back home, Worley keeps Phils' bats in check". 

Further reading[edit]

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