Vance Worley expected to make start for Miami Marlins on Sunday

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins continue to search for answers in-house. After speculation as to who would start on Sunday, we could be nearing an answer.

Earlier this week, Don Mattingly said he wasn’t sure who would be making the start for the Miami Marlins on Sunday. We might know the answer now.

Nothing has been made official, but it looks like it’ll be former big leaguer Vance Worley. Desperate for Major League caliber talent, the Fish will be kicking the tires on a player who has done some bouncing around in recent years. Worley would be making his MLB debut for 2017.

Originally a selection of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2005, Worley elected to go to college after being a 20th round pick. Attending Cal State Long Beach changed where he was selected, but not where he would end up. In 2008, the Phillies selected Worley again in the 3rd round.

After pitching effectively for several years for the Phillies, he hit a wall in 2012 and went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA. Since then, he has done stints with the Twins, Pirates, and Orioles. He’s never been able to recapture the success he had in 2011, where he went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA. He finished third in rookie of the year voting that season.

Now it appears he’ll get another chance with the Miami Marlins. Still only 29 years old, Worley has time to right the ship and crank out several years of productive MLB service.

How did we get here?

The Miami Marlins have had a rough time finding reliable arms to start games. Pitching has struggled, and Mattingly has been hesitant to let any pitcher go longer than six innings.

Lacking options, the Marlins are choosing to take a flyer on a pitcher who was considered a “worse case scenario” when he signed this offseason. Hopeful that they wouldn’t need his services with the pro club this year, they’ve been left with few other options.

It appears the Marlins briefly considered moving David Phelps back into the starting rotation, but reconsidered. There was also a chance they would elect to have the bullpen collectively eat nine innings on Sunday, but that plan was too nixed. After Nicolino’s four inning start last night, it was no longer feasible.

So here we are: Vance Worley likely to appear in a regular season Major League Baseball game again.

Worley hasn’t logged regular time as a starter in the Major Leagues since pitching with the Pirates in 2014. He was impressive that year, going 8-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 110.2 innings for the Pirates. In succeeding years, he has worked in relief at the Major League Level.

He has pitched in a starting capacity for the AAA Baby Cakes, though. Unfortunately, he hasn’t exactly set the league on fire. This year, he’s 2-5 with a 4.43 ERA for the Baby Cakes. Those typically aren’t numbers that warrant being called up, but as they say…”desperate times call for Vance Worley”.

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There is a chance that Worley will experience a resurgence. That’s what the Miami Marlins are banking on. Given the way the Fish play on Sunday, everyone is hoping/expecting the best.