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Vance Worley's place on 2017 Orioles seems tenuous

Vance Worley's place on 2017 Orioles seems tenuous

Can the Orioles afford the "Vanimal?"

Regular readers around here know that one of my favorite additions to the 2016 Orioles was Vance Worley, and he wasn’t only one of my favorites. Many of my colleagues on the Oriole beat also grew to like him. 

It wasn’t just his colorful nickname, which doubles as his Twitter handle. Actually, it’s @Vanimal_46. 

He got his nickname from his fervent workouts in college, and it’s a great one. 

Worley came to the Orioles almost exactly a year ago, on Oct. 20 2015 when he was claimed on waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

He was no sure thing to make the team, but did and stayed with the team throughout the season except for a brief time on the disabled list with a groin injury. 

Worley was useful as a starter, but mostly as a long reliever. He would often come into games when the starter was knocked out early, and his job was to eat innings and keep the score within hand. 

He won one of his four starts and earned his first career save on Aug. 23, something he didn’t realize until after the game. He pitched three effective innings. 

Worley entered 11 games in the fourth inning or earlier. Sometimes the Orioles caught up in his appearances, most time not.

In his 35 games (four starts), the Orioles won just 11 of them. 

For his 3.53 ERA, Worley earned $2.6 million. According to an estimate by MLBTradeRumors.com, Worley could receive a salary of $3.3 million, which is $400,000 higher than their $2.9 million estimate for Brad Brach, an All-Star who has about the same amount of service time. 

The Orioles may be reluctant to pay Worley $3.3 million to be a long man. With six starters already on the docket, Worley is unlikely to get a chance to start again, and his numbers (1.373 WHIP) and his unsightly strikeout to walk ratio (1.6) are pedestrian. 

It seems likely the Vanimal will have a major league job in 2017. It just doesn’t seem likely there will be many Vanimal sightings in Baltimore. 

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

 Mark Trumbo could have looked around the diamond at his Orioles teammates and wondered, "Who are these guys?"

With veterans Adam Jones and Chris Davis out of the starting lineup, Trumbo alone represented experience on a young, struggling team.

The slugger homered twice and drove in five runs, and Baltimore beat the Texas Rangers 9-6 in a back-and-forth game Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"There's a few of us guys that have been around a little longer than most," Trumbo said. "The production comes and goes, but the mindset is the big thing, and I think these guys are doing a good job."

Entering the series, Trumbo hadn't gone deep since July 9. He completed the four games 7 for 16 with three homers and nine RBIs as Baltimore totaled 21 runs.

Austin Wynns and Jonathan Villar also homered for the Orioles.

Trumbo singled home a run in the first inning. His two-run homer in the third put Baltimore ahead to stay at 6-5 against starter Drew Hutchison (1-2), who was making his Rangers debut.

"Just pitch execution, poor command, too many balls up in the zone," Hutchison said. "When you do things like that, those are the results that you're going to have."

Both of Trumbo's homers came with two strikes.

"I've been getting to two strikes a lot lately and still getting some hits," he said. "I hit a changeup (from Hutchison), and I put some good wood on it."

The teams had scored in every half-inning before that, with the lead changing hands in four of those.

Trumbo left the game after his two-run homer against Matt Moore in the seventh.

"(Trumbo) almost didn't play today," Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "His knee's been a little sore. I noticed running around the bases on the second home run."

Another difference was Baltimore's beleaguered bullpen, which allowed only one run and one hit in 7 1/3 innings.

Tanner Scott (2-2), the second of six Orioles pitchers, shut out Texas for 2 1/3 innings, which tied his longest major league outing. He relieved starter Yefry Ramirez with the bases loaded and two outs in the second and struck out Ronald Guzman.

Mychal Givens retired the final four batters for his second save.

Jace Peterson led off the game with a single and scored on Trumbo's single for a short-lived 1-0 lead.

Ramirez retired the first two Rangers hitters but gave up a triple to Elvis Andrus. After two walks loaded the bases, Robinson Chirinos singled home two runs.

The Orioles regained the lead at 4-2 in the second on a three-run homer by Wynns, the No. 9 batter.

The Rangers scored three runs in the bottom half on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly, Andrus' groundout and a broken-bat single by Joey Gallo for a 5-4 advantage.

Gallo and Rougned Odor homered in each of the first three games of the series, but their streaks were stopped on Sunday.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Davis didn't play for a second straight game. Showalter said, "He's banged up a little bit. We're going to give him the benefit of another day and the off day Monday." ... Showalter said it's likely that OF Craig Gentry, who has missed six weeks because of a fractured rib, will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Bowie. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (strained left oblique), who hasn't played since July 1, could go on a rehab assignment Thursday.

UP AND DOWN AGAIN

To make room for Hutchison on the roster, the Rangers optioned RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx to Triple-A Round Rock for the third time this season.

JUST KEEP HITTING

Andrus extended his hitting streak to 16 games, equaling a career best. It's also the longest current run in the majors.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Begin a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Alex Cobb (3-14, 5.83 ERA) will start against Rays newcomer Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 4.27).

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (2-4, 6.50) pitches Monday as Texas hosts Seattle and LHP Wade LeBlanc (6-2, 3.95) to begin a three-game series.

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

Adam Jones continues to be one of baseball's Good Dudes. 

Jones, who's been recognized before for his philanthropic efforts around Baltimore, made headlines recently when he donated $8.5 thousand dollars to the Mamie Johnson Little League team. 

Mamie Johnson are headed to the Mid-Atlantic Finals of the Little League World Series qualifying tournament but needed $10k in travel assistance to get there. That's where Jones, who orginally learned of the team on Twitter, stepped in: 

When asked about his donation, Jones said, "I want to see the next generation get an opportunity to succeed. Me being a black man trying to integrate more African-Americans into baseball, this was a no-brainer.''

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