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.