Mitch Williams: Vance Worley is ‘real’

Mitch Williams was in town Saturday for color commentary during the Phillies-Giants game. ‘Wild Thing’ typically sees through red-tinted lenses. Before the season, the former Phillies closer had Charlie Manuel’s squad winning 100-plus games.

When Metro caught up with the thoughtful baseball analyst in early July, Williams had the Phillies making a big comeback by somehow winning the division and going deep in the playoffs.

Well, it’s difficult for the MLB analyst/FOX commentator, or any Phillies fan, to be that optimistic about the club, which won its first home game this month by beating the Giants in extra innings Sunday afternoon. However, Williams is really high on Vance Worley.

“I like what he does,” Williams said. “He goes after hitters. He pitches smart. He can make ‘em swing and miss.”

Worley chuckled when he was told of the remarks made by the Phillies’ hero of yesteryear.

“He called me ‘the kid’ when I came up last year,” Worley said. “That’s what he referred to me throughout the year. I guess I am ‘the kid’ compared to the rest of the guys in this rotation. It’s great to be recognized by someone, who pitched like he did. It’s cool to be noticed by someone who knows about pitching.”

“Worley is a guy that I think is real,” Williams said. “He has impressed me. He’s a competitor with a very good arm. I think he’s going to be able to make a difference for quite awhile on that team and he’s in this great spot in which he can learn so much from all of those aces.”

Worley agrees that it’s an enviable position to be able to pick the brains of Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

“I’m on a staff with the best and that helps me,” Worley said. “Those guys are each at the top and they know so much. I’m fortunate so much has been passed on to me.”

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