Worley Remains in the Driver’s Seat For the Final Starting Spot; Stewart Injury Update

Vance Worley threw four shut out innings today in the Pirates’ 4-2 victory against the Orioles. Worley got through the first three innings with ease, allowing only one base runner and avoiding any solid contact. The fourth inning provided a little more stress for Worley when he gave up a walk to Chris Davis and a line drive single to former Pirate Travis Snider, but he was able to get out of the inning unscathed.

“I made pitches when I needed to, and I attacked the strike zone today,” a relaxed Worley said afterwards. “Diaz back there was working really well with me today — we were on the same page. I was making pitches.”

This Spring Training has lacked the usual drama in terms of positional battle story lines, but a looming decision to watch is whether Vance Worley or Jeff Locke will win the fifth spot in the rotation. The accumulation of Worley’s success in 2014 and his ability to be a dependable strike-thrower should put Worley in the driver’s seat to earn the job. Worley realizes the decision is out of his control.

“Only [management] can determine what they want to do with me as far as pitching on this team,” Worley said. “For me, it’s all about going out there and competing. Would I like to be in the rotation? Absolutely.”

Hurdle would not give any clues as to who has the upper hand between Worley and Locke, but has been impressed with Worley’s performance since joining the Pirates last summer.

“The bar is set very low if you want to compare him to fifth starters,” Hurdle said. “If you look at everybody’s fifth starter that’s a very low bar. We like both of our guys. [Vance] has pitched very, very well.”

Chris Stewart Injury Update

Chris Stewart has yet to participate in any official Spring Training games because of a minor hamstring injury, but Hurdle believes Stewart will be able to play in Tuesday’s game against the Astros.

  • IMO, a guy like Worley gets labeled, same for Locke, 5th starter. If these guys give up 3 runs in a game, it is a bad game and they are 5th starters, if anyone else gives up 3 runs, that is a good days work.
    How good do you actually have to pitch on this team to not be a 5th starter? I would like to see the Pirates release one of these guys and see how fast someone grabs them up. 5th Starter, what a joke!

  • Will one of ’em become the long relief man? Question, what does it mean to have to be ‘stretched out’ as a starter? Does that mean you have to pitch six innings or so every 5 days?

    • It takes a lot of effort to throw 100 pitches+ so you start at say 25 at max effort or close to it and see how you feel and then 40 pitches and so on and so forth until you can throw 100+ without feeling like your arm is going to fall off. That’s pretty much what stretched out means.

    • Monsoon Harvard
      March 16, 2015 9:10 pm

      I think they put them on one of those medieval torture racks and stretch them out a little further each day until they are almost ready to snap.

  • Shirley worley’s boy is doing quite well and looks like a lock over locke.

  • formerdraftpick
    March 15, 2015 6:10 pm

    It was good to see Vance taking command today. I was worried that he wasn’t going to get a consideration.

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