The Baltimore media got its first look at Vance Worley at last Saturday’s FanFest, and it was an intriguing one.
Worley had spiked hair and Joe Maddon-style glasses, the 28-year-old right-hander will certainly stand out—if he makes the ballclub.
He was claimed on waivers from Pittsburgh in October, and he can start or relieve.
In 2011, Worley had a superb season with the Philadelphia Phillies, going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA on a staff that included Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.
He’s never come close to duplicating that year.
The Orioles already have five sure bets for the bullpen: Brad Brach, Zach Britton, Mychal Givens, Brian Matusz and Darren O’Day, and a sixth if Dylan Bundy is healthy.
There will be many competing for that seventh spot.
They have four starters, and are looking hard at adding at fifth.
So, where does the 28-year-old Worley, who agreed to a $2.6 million contract for 2016, avoiding arbitration fit in?
“I know this team can play some defense, and that’s going to play into how I pitch,” Worley said. “I’m not a strikeout guy. I’m not overpowering. I’m rely on my defense to play behind me.”
Worley has a most inventive Twitter handle: @VANIMAL_46.
“It’s a college nickname. I got it my freshman year. We had weights at five o’clock in the morning, and I was one of the few who showed up and wanted to lift,” Worley said.
“It was our strength coach who said: ‘The Vanimal is in here.’”
Worley was told his name and animal just went together.
“I kind of ran with it, and it’s followed with here. I’m O.K. with that nickname if you guys want to call me that,” Worley said.
NOTE: The Orioles announced two adjustments to their spring training schedule. On March 28, they’ll play a game against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla. Instead of playing Philadelphia in Clearwater, and on March 30, they’ll host Detroit at 6:05 p.m. instead of Toronto.
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