Phillies Notes: Phillies shut down Worley, who is headed for surgery

Posted: August 30, 2012

The morning after Vance Worley had failed once again, he was summoned to Citizens Bank Park where Phillies officials waited at a table. They presented the case for ending Worley's season Wednesday and the 24-year-old righthander could not disagree.

"I mean, the way I've been pitching the last seven or eight games," Worley said, "it's almost like it needed to be done."

After 60 pitches served as the final evidence Tuesday, Worley maintained that the loose bodies in his right elbow that will be surgically removed next week had "zero effect" on his performance. The Phillies still believe that, even though they are shutting down Worley.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee said the ailment had more effect mentally than physically and the transformation was noticeable within the last month.

"His demeanor has changed," Dubee said. "He doesn't look right. He lost that good look on the mound."

In 23 starts, Worley went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA. The Phillies were 9-14 in games he started.

Worley crashed the National League a year ago with pitches so deceiving hitters could only watch for strikes. They made adjustments in 2012 and Worley's reaction was not nearly good enough.

The front office had internal discussions about shutting down Worley but never raised those ideas with the pitcher until Wednesday. Both sides said Worley could have pitched through the injury for the remainder of the season.

Recovery time for the surgery is minimal. The timing is such that Worley can begin his offseason conditioning drills at about the same moment as his teammates. Cole Hamels underwent a similar procedure last winter and was throwing well before spring training.

"I'll be right on track," Worley said.

Dubee said Worley has a "real good inside edge" on a rotation spot for 2013 despite his miserable finish. He will make just above $500,000 next season. Through June, Worley had a 2.92 ERA with a similar strikeout-to-walk ratio as 2011.

His final 11 starts yielded a 5.80 ERA and .350 batting average against. Asked if he believed he had to prove himself again come spring training, Worley said he did not know.

"It's really up to me to go in there and keep my spot," Worley said. "Having this happen, I'll be healthy. Everything will be taken care of. I can go back in shape and show them why I belong here."

There was no use in forcing bad habits now.

"He wanted to pitch," Dubee said. "And you can't blame him for that."

Brown sits

For the third time in four games, outfielder Domonic Brown was not in Charlie Manuel's lineup Wednesday against the Mets. Brown has soreness in his left knee, which was apparently aggravated Tuesday.

Brown said he was not injured. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did not consider the matter to be serious.

"We've got to try to resolve it," Amaro said. "I know he wants to play. There's that fine line between wanting to play and making sure it doesn't affect the team."

Schwimer reports

Righthander Michael Schwimer finally reported to triple-A Lehigh Valley after being demoted last Thursday. Schwimer disputed the assignment, believing he should have been placed on the disabled list with a sore elbow.

Schwimer sought a second opinion that apparently did not reveal a significant injury.

"I don't have any comment on any differences," Amaro said.

Extra bases

Carlos Ruiz (torn left foot) caught another bullpen session and continues to hit and run. He is targeted for an early September return, Amaro said. . . . Tyler Cloyd and Darin Ruf were named winners of the 2012 Paul Owens Award, given annually to the organization's top minor leaguers.


Contact Matt Gelb at mgelb@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @magelb.

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