Philadelphia Phillies: Starter Vance Worley Likely to Require Offseason Surgery

Manav KhandelwalAnalyst IIMay 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05:  Vance Worley #49 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch agaisnt the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 5, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

According to a report by NBC's HardballTalk, starting pitcher Vance Worley will require offseason surgery to fix bone chips in his right elbow. Like the Philadelphia Phillies, 21-21 and last in the NL East, needed any more bad news.

Worley was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday due to what he described as "soreness" in his right elbow. As the report dictates, an MRI revealed bone chips that will require surgery; even so, Worley plans to return as scheduled off of the DL:

"Man up...That's the only thing I can do. I'll just grit and grind out there."

Doesn't sound too reassuring.

There have been rumors that Worley has already been working to change his delivery in order to compensate for the pain he is feeling. Changing one's delivery to avoid pain never ends well, and the long-term consequences for Vance's shoulder could be serious. 

Even thinking completely in baseball terms, a change in delivery could mean a less effective pitcher. Worley has gone 15-6 with a 2.91 ERA thus far in his career with the Phillies, numbers that they can't afford to lose at this point in time; they are five games behind the division-leading Braves.

The Phillies coaching staff is faced with a tough decision: hope for the best and allow Worley to do his thing, or play it safe, giving Worley surgery now and allowing him to recover, and possibly lose out on a postseason spot.