I thought about a Danny Duffy. ¬†Maybe Daisuke Matsuzaka. Mostly because that would be an inning-long Pitcher Profile and I could play more Call of Duty. ¬†He shoulda laid off the Steak “n Shake! ¬†Over/under on amount of times you see that joke today…
But back to Worley. ¬†I think it’s easily forgotten just how good a run he had for the 2011 Phillies. ¬†3.01 ERA? ¬†119 Ks in 131.2 IP? ¬†11 Wins? ¬†Really surprising looking back on those… Then he was terrible in his follow-up with the Phils, followed by getting¬†absolutely crushed in 10 starts for the Twins last year. ¬†Starting 2014 in AAA, Worley was meh in 7 starts with a 4.30 ERA, but an encouraging 43 Ks in 46 innings. ¬†Which nobody would ever care about, except he had as good a debut anyone could’ve expected yesterday at Miami. ¬†And actually – and I didn’t even think to look until the broadcast showed his Minors¬†numbers – 43:4 K:BB in AAA. ¬†Wowzer! ¬†So I decided to take a look at the spectacled SP and if there’s anything there for you to care about in your fantasy leagues:
First Inning:¬†Worley’s first pitch of the 2014 season is an 87 MPH fastball just low to Rafael Furcal shortening up for a supposed bunt. ¬†88 heater fouled back, then 89 on the outer edge is bunted to the mound for an easy out. ¬†Furcal might be the worst leadoff hitter in the Majors… Anyway, up is Reed Johnson who takes 89 in the zone, a nice sinking 89 MPH two-seamer is foul-tipped in the mitt for an 0-2 count.
Another two-seam is fouled off, then Worley’s first off-speed is slider at 83 tapped foul, then 90 MPH on the hands and low is a very weak flyout, two down. ¬†5 strikes that at-bat, and all on the edges. ¬†Another painter at 90 MPH to start Giancarlo Stanton gets Worley up 0-1, but a slider across the zone is muscled up the middle for a single. ¬†Casey McGehee takes a two-seamer low, four-seam is a tad inside, two-seam bends inside, gets a fastball in there, another fastball on the hands fouled back, then the 3-2 slider is popped up right to the bag at first in foul territory for an easy out.
Second Inning:¬†Garrett Jones is first-pitch swinging, and hits a lazy flyball for a quick out. ¬†Fastball at 90 is high and outside – virtually all fastballs thus far – he’s just inside to Marcel Ozuna 2-0, a perfect front door slider at 85 starts in then bends into the zone, 2-1.
Then Worley follows it up with a curveball at 77 and bends that one in as well.
Wow, if he can throw those for strikes, he’ll be good to go. ¬†Another slider over the plate is tapped to short, and the easy play is made, two down. ¬†Slider is poured in there for a strike to Adeiny Hechavarria, then a curveball in the inner lower half is crushed to the right field gap for a double. ¬†That wasn’t a bad pitch, Hechavarria was just able to wait back on it and tracked it for a great swing. ¬†But it doesn’t cost anything as Jeff Mathis pops up the first-pitch slider to shallow left to end the inning.
Third Inning:¬†The Buccos pick up a run, and Worley starts opposing pitcher Henderson Alvarez with a fastball low, cutter¬†is in there, a slider gets Alvarez almost to fall over swinging, then another slower slider with a more downward break is swung over for Worley’s first K. ¬†Gotta love pitching in the NL! ¬†Maybe that’s what the issue was in Minnesota… Fastball is in there to Furcal, goes inside with it, then a cutter is tapped weakly to third, but Pedro Alvarez throws it in the dirt and Ike Davis can’t make the pick for an error. ¬†15 errors for Alvarez now – yikes! ¬†Cutter at 87 hits the inner black to Johnson, slider low, another slider tapped foul, then a third straight slider is hit to center for an easy out. ¬†Slider bends into the zone for strike one to Stanton, fastball inside, another slider hits the outer black bending across the zone, then a fastball on the outer edge gets a ton of the plate and locked Stanton up. ¬†Not sure what Stanton was looking for there, I guess he thought it was a slider about to bend out of the zone. ¬†Two Ks for Worley.
Fourth Inning:¬†Now protecting a 2-0 lead, Worley starts McGehee with a fastball strike, then another in the same spot is rocketed to center for a hard hit single. ¬†From the stretch, Worley gets a first-pitch curveball strike in there to Jones. ¬†Good stuff there. ¬†Fastball is in and low, another fastball outside, and another cut fastball on the hands is muscled to right for a single. ¬†It jammed Jones, but it looped over the infield for a solid hit. ¬†So Worley in some trouble with runners on first and second and no outs, and is just outside with a slider to Ozuna. ¬†Another slider is hit hard to the opposite field, but it’s foul by about ten feet over the fence. ¬†Man, just missed a three run shot there. ¬†Fastball is inside, another fastball is called high that was close, slider front doors Ozuna – good faith there after one was almost hit out – then the payoff pitch gets a swing-and-miss at 89 on the higher outside black. ¬†Ozuna was looking off speed and was late – proof you can throw slow and still get guys to miss fastballs. ¬†3 Ks and a huge one for Worley, and he starts Hechavarria with a slider low. ¬†90 MPH fastball is in there, slider fouled off, another slider nipped foul, then a 91 MPH two-seamer is hit right to second, and Worley is out of the mess with a huge double play.
Fifth Inning:¬†Still up 2-0, Worley starts Mathis with a cutter, then goes a little lower on the outside edge with a heater and gets a whiff, slider is just outside, then a slider that ends up down the middle is a lazy flyout to center. ¬†A slider is in there to Alvarez, whose late swing is up there with Pablo Sandoval for the worst swing we’ve seen this year.
0-1 is an 88 MPH fastball and it’s hit hard on a line, but right to Josh Harrison at second. ¬†Two down quickly, and cutter is low to Furcal, another gets the outside black, two-seamer is perfect on the outside lower corner, 90 MPH heater slapped foul, curveball stays outside, then the 2-2 91 MPH four-seamer is hit to Harrison to end the inning.
Sixth Inning:¬†Worley opens the 6th with a two-seam in there, another heater is fouled off Johnson’s foot, then a 90 MPH fastball that looked way low and a shade outside gets the call. ¬†Johnson is mad, it certainly looked like a ball, but it’s Worley’s 4th K. ¬†Really no complaints about the zone today until now… but it’s strike three. ¬†Stanton takes a fastball low and in, takes one in there, fastball again low and in, with the 2-1 heater dribbled to third for an easy groundout. ¬†Two quick outs, and fastball is low to McGehee, 88 MPH two-seamer smacked foul, Worley goes inside again with a fastball, but McGehee turns on this one for his second single. ¬†Quick hands there by McGehee. ¬†Fastball low and in to Jones, cutter is way outside, fastball on the outer black is swung through, another heater on the inside black is called a strike, slider on the hands pulled weakly foul, fastball is high, and the payoff pitch is popped up for an easy catch by Russell Martin to end the inning.
Seventh Inning:¬†Worley is cruising at 86 pitches, and is inside with the fastball to Ozuna. ¬†Cutter stays high, 2-0 fastball is in there 2-1, a slider is perfectly placed in the lower inside corner, Worley then paints the same spot with a fastball for his 5th K looking. ¬†That was some serious paint – on both those pitches. ¬†Hechavarria is first-pitch swinging and pops up a high and tight fastball in the infield, two outs. ¬†Mathis takes a fastball in there, four-seam low and inside is tapped foul, quickly 0-2. ¬†And Worley’s final pitch is a 77 MPH curveball, reached for and floated out to center for yet another easy out. ¬†What an outing.
Final Line: ¬†W ¬†7 IP ¬†95 Pitches (68 Strikes) ¬†0 ER ¬†5 Hits ¬†0 Walks ¬†5 K ¬†Gamescore: 72 ¬† ¬†Gamescore+:¬†73.8
Final Analysis:¬†As I mentioned in the open – and want to reiterate – Worley had an unreal 43:4 K:BB in AAA. ¬†And he kept it up in this one, with 5 punchouts and no walks. ¬†What I really like about that ratio, is Worley was all over the paint in this start showing some incredible control and command. ¬†Even though the Marlins probably game-planned for Worley coming after them, they had a ton of weakly hit outs contributing to a Gamescore+ ahead of his Gamescore.
Worley throws a lot of fastballs, but can do a ton with them. ¬†Four-seam topped out at 91, two-seamer 88-90, then cutter usually at 87. ¬†All three had good movement to keep Marlins’ barrels from really connecting. ¬†Worley’s main off-speed is the slider, which ranged wildly from 79-85. ¬†He could break it horizontal with a 2-8 break, or almost straight down with a little less speed. ¬†He also mixed in a few curveballs around 77 MPH. ¬†The broadcast talked up a change-up he had developed this year, but I don’t think he threw a single one in this start. ¬†I don’t think he necessarily needs it, but if it works it will mix up his speeds even more. ¬†Stuff wise, he kinda reminds me of Phil Hughes, with maybe not quite as good a cutter but slightly better off-speed. ¬†He doesn’t throw as hard as Hughes either, but he’s the best comp I can think of.
Since I’m not a huge Hughes fan to boot, Worley is going to stay outside my top 100 – for now. ¬†It’s worth mentioning the Marlins line-up without Christian Yelich is very blah (even though I know they’ve had a good year scoring this far) and Ozuna just missed taking him deep for a three-run homer. ¬†But if this K:BB stays this legit in the Majors, he could find himself surging in my ranks. ¬†It’s interesting Worley has developed such impeccable control, because his walk rate in the Philly years – the big 2011 and underwhelming 2012 – was over 3. ¬†I will mention his BABIP in 2012 and 2013 was .340 and .401 respectively, so it looks like Worley was a little unlucky there. ¬†With all the weak contact he racked up yesterday, this could really turn out to be someone to watch. ¬†We’ve seen pitching coach Ray Searage turn some scrub pitchers around, and in the NL in a good ballpark is about as good as it gets. ¬†Might actually end up with a decent WAR[ly]! ¬†And in the short-term, his next start is at the Cubs, so he may be worth a spot start there if you need some innings.
JB’s Updated Top 100 SP
(rankings based on 12-team Roto – green for risers, red for fallers)
Dropped Out:¬†Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds¬†(had to really work hard to lose that job),¬†Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles¬†(is just so bad, and I didn’t like him much to begin with…),¬†Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks¬†(getting less and less faith he’s up before August on a Dbacks team still not improving too much)
- Slight shake-up up top, with Waino moving from 1 to 3. ¬†As I’ve said the past few weeks, those top 3 guys are so close to me. ¬†The elbow issue doesn’t seem to be serious, but it’s an elbow for a SP that’s logged a ton of innings with a prior TJ.
- Man, Mat Latos looked goooooood.
- I’m not that concerned with Wacha, but the strikeout drought is annoying. ¬†Only moved him down 5, but any decent movement that high in my ranks I like to highlight.
- Not moving Minor – I actually think he’s one of the best buy-low targets if you’re looking to improve your rotation. ¬†Stuff and velocity looked good in primetime last night, but the Angels were locked in.
- Tough to not be all-in on Keuchel at this point. ¬†After yet another gem, I imitate the voice of Kevin from The Office and merely say, “That’s Dallas!”
- Apparently Rick Porcello has become my main whipping target. ¬†He looked good against the Twins yesterday, having one rough inning that had a lot of bad luck. ¬†Hard hit RBI double by Josh Willingham, lucky weak grounder by Kendrys Morales for an RBI single, then a solid single by Kurt Suzuki and they had Morales dead to rights at home but Alex Avila bobbled and dropped the throw, scoring the third run. ¬†Very easily could’ve been 7 or 8 innings of one-run ball and a win. ¬†Of course I’m biased though. ¬†I think he’s gonna be pretty good moving on – enjoy disagreeing with me in the comments per usual!
- I thought Cliff Lee would progress faster. ¬†Damn my decision to forgo medical school!
- Done with Marco Estrada. ¬†I think he just up another 16 homers. ¬†Can he pitch the home run derby?! ¬†Sorry Brad Radke, there’s a new clown on the mound!
- I’m all in on Duffy. ¬†As I mentioned in the open, thought about doing today’s Profile on him – his stuff looks nasty.
- After that collapse at Oakland, Garrett Richards has been redonkulous.
- Some of the best pitching news this week was Alex Wood’s demotion to get stretched back out. ¬†With a doubleheader coming at the end of the month, it could be pretty quick before Wood is back in the rotation.
- It was mentioned last week in the comments and something I’ve monitored – Drew Hutchison has the craziest splits¬†baseball has ever seen (ease down hyperbole police!). ¬†8.72 ERA 1.89 WHIP at home, 1.79/0.94 on the road. ¬†Another good one is 3 day starts 11.81/2.16 to 2.40/1.05 at night. ¬†Next time Hutch pitches at home in a day game, the universe might implode.
Thoughts on Worley? ¬†Beef with the rankings? ¬†Got a new Porcello joke for me? ¬†Shoot below and happy pitching!