Vance Worley’s performance does more harm than good

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 02: Vance Worley
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 02: Vance Worley /

Following the best start of the season for Vance Worley, you have to wonder, is the Vanimal making strides towards becoming a starter for the Miami Marlins?


Vance Worley turned in his best performance as a member of the Miami Marlins in the series finale against the Washington Nationals. It surprised everyone, caught us off-guard perhaps more than any other single performance this season. But lets not get ahead of ourselves.

If we can manage to appreciate Worley’s performance for what it was, a welcomed aberration, then we are headed down the right track. Anything else is willfully setting oneself up for disappointment.

Vance Worley was signed to be a veteran arm out of the bullpen, or an emergency starter. Since being called up to the Major League team this season, he’s appeared in both of those roles a number of times. With injuries galore, it appears that he’ll stay in the rotation a while longer.

The Miami Marlins sit four games under .500, well out of the playoff race, and poorly equipped to make a run along that vein. Their starting rotation isn’t up to snuff, and you need to look no further than Vance Worley toeing the rubber every fifth day as proof.

On Wednesday, he was magnificent. He kept a dynamic lineup of division leading sluggers off the scoreboard for seven innings while surrendering only two hits. His game score of 76 is the fifth highest of his career. But does anyone really believe that Worley can sustain this level of dominance?

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Wednesday marked the first time this season he has gone more than five innings. Only the second time he has gone at least five innings. In all of Worley’s other starts this season, he’s been chased from the game early after the opposing team used him as batting practice.

Worley with the Miami Marlins

It’s difficult to call Worley a “disappointment”, though. He’s been exactly what the team expected. He’s a body to put on the mound. Nobody thought he would compete for a Cy Young when he agreed to join the team.

But Worley is an experienced pitcher who has had success at the Major League level in the past. He knows how to pitch, and is capable of getting outs when everything is clicking. On Wednesday, he caught lightning in a bottle.

He earned himself another start for the Miami Marlins with his performance. More than likely, he’ll regress towards what he’s been all season. Perhaps encouraged and believing Worley is “finding his groove”, there is fear that the front office will hold off on calling anyone up to ride the hot hand.

It goes without saying that Worley isn’t the long-term solution the Miami Marlins are looking for. His seven innings of shutout ball earned the team a victory, which is great, but it might also keep pitching prospects in the minor leagues a little longer.

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Vance Worley was thrilling to watch on Wednesday. Everyone was rooting for him, and he seems like he is a heck of a nice guy. But a single performance and likability aren’t going to put butts in seats. Winning is. Is Vance Worley capable of doing that on a regular basis? Probably not.