Vance Worley, a 23-year-old up and coming prospect for Philadelphia, has done a fine job in replacement for fifth starter Joe Blanton—many fans are satisfied with him and actually prefer him over Blanton.
After suffering an elbow injury in late April, Blanton was placed on the disabled list while Worley emerged.
Worley pitched six innings in each of his two starts in substitution for Blanton, while recording a win both times. Plus, he gave up no runs in his first outing (and two hits) and just one run in his second.
Many Phillies fans, including myself, have been loving the production out of the young pitcher, as he has shown many positive signs for the future.
However, I believe that promoting Worley to permanent starter status is pushing the envelope a little too much.
Granted, he has pitched well, but these were his first starts—the opposing players were just introduced to the way he pitches. I am not saying that Worley is one of these pitchers, but baseball fans have witnessed many fluke beginner starts.
Not only that, but fans seem to be brushing over the talent and experience of Blanton. He has been with Philly ever since they won the World Series, and turning him into a reliever at this point in his career is just not right.
I will be the first to admit that the overall stat sheet for Blanton is the complete opposite of attractive, with a 1-2 record and a 5.50 ERA.
But if you take a deeper look into his games, he only had two very bad starts where he gave up five and seven runs. Other than that, he has given up no more than three runs in the rest of his four starts.
The Phillies should just keep Worley where he is now: doing a solid job as a reliever and available as a very serviceable replacement in case of injury. He is still just 23 years old and has plenty of time to step up once older pitchers on the team eventually leave.
Like I said, I am a big fan of Worley and I think he did a great job in substitution for Blanton. But right now, Worley is just not ready and Blanton is the better option.
Take your pick, Phillies fans: Blanton or Worley?