Worley May Push Kendrick Back To The Pen

Vance Worley made his pitch to stick in the Phillies rotation on Saturday night. Worley held Seattle to one run on five hits in five innings of a 5-1 victory on Saturday night.

When Vance Worley took to the mound Saturday night in Seattle, it marked his first start since being sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on May 31. The Phillies needed an extra starter this week following Wednesday's doubleheader against the Marlins.

"Worley threw better than he had been before," manager Charlie Manuel said. "After a couple innings, his velocity started getting back up to 93, 94. When he does that, it makes his secondary pitches better. He was a little wild at times. But battled and he pitched well."

Worley, 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in five starts this season, could find himself a more permanent fixture in the rotation again. Fellow right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who has been the team's fifth starter this month, began the season in the bullpen.

In Kendrick's five starts this season, he has gone 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA. Perhaps the two telling stats against keeping Kendrick in the rotation is that he has a 10.80 ERA in the first inning of his starts. The second stat is that Kendrick has a 2.21 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season and was impressive in a long-relief role with the club early in the season.

The fact that Worley is definitely in the Phillies plans for the future would also seem to give him the edge in the battle between the two right-handers. Worley also fits into the Phillies long-term plans much better than Kendrick does at this point in his career.

If you want an argument against keeping Worley in the rotation, the only one that comes to mind is that Kendrick might be able to up his value to other clubs with the trade deadline starting to loom. While the same could be said for Worley, the odds of the Phillies dealing Worley aren't very high.

Even though Kendrick's trade value could be pumped up a little, Worley is going to help the club more. The added time in the rotation could also come in handy down the road.

As much as we love having the 'Phour Aces' in Philadelphia, the odds of keeping them together aren't very good. The Phillies have an option year on Roy Oswalt and there have also been some very quiet whispers that he could retire after the season. The time that he spent away from the team when his home was damaged by recent floods apparently made him think about his time away from his family. With his potential, Worley could easily slide into the fourth spot in the rotation next season.

The Phillies are starting to see some of their pitching prospects move up through the system and Worley is the first to be major league ready. After Worley, there are relievers like Michael Schwimer, Phillippe Aumont, Justin DeFratus and others. Worley will fit into the rotation well and will be able to hold down a spot until another starter comes along to battle for a spot at the back of the rotation.

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