Baltimore Orioles claim Vance Worley off Pittsburgh Pirates waivers


Sure, the 2015 season has not ended for four teams in Major League Baseball, but the teams that are not in the championship are looking for ways to improve in the 2016 season, including our beloved Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles announced today that they acquired right-handed pitcher Vance Worley off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The move gives the Orioles another solid arm that they can use either as a long relief man or a potential last starter. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated Jorge Rondon.

Nicknamed “The Vanimal” by his peers, Worley is primarily a fastball pitcher who uses a mix of a four-seamer and two-seamer that run about 89 to 92 mph. He also has a slider that is his primary off-speed pitch that will clock at 85 mph.

Worley has had an up-and-down in his Major League career, sporting a career 3.79 ERA to go along with a 31-28 record. He has enjoyed most of that success in the National League, pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies and Pirates.

Worley did pitch one season for the Minnesota Twins in 2013, but it was a disaster for him. He was traded to the Twins as part of a deal that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia, but his time with them was short. He had a 7.21 ERA in 48.2 innings while only striking out 25 batters. He finished 1-5 on the season before he was sent to the Twins Triple-A team in Rochester.

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He was traded to the Pirates prior to the 2014 season and spent the next two season in Pittsburgh as a spot starter. His numbers got significantly better being back in the NL, where he had respectable numbers with a 3.31 ERA and 1.294 WHIP. His second season was not what the Pirates were expecting from the 28-year old, and they

Worley will be joining a staff that features Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Miguel Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez. Wei-Yin Chen is set to be a free agent and is the only left-handed currently in the rotation. It remains to be seen how the Orioles address his future as it will have a big impact on the future of this rotation. If Chen is elsewhere in 2016, there is a possibility that Brian Matusz or Zach Britton move into a starting role so that the rotation has at least one lefty.

Worley comes as insurance should Chen depart. He gives Buck Showalter another option as a fifth starter, and one that has boom or bust potential. This is the classic low risk move that we have come to expect from the Showalter and Dan Duquette era.

Let’s hope that the moves this offseason pan out better than the ones from last winter. It was a lot more fun to watch the Orioles as a contending baseball team.

Next: More to Blame Than Orioles Starters

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