At this time last year, the Phillies were riding such a wave of success that quite a bit of attention was paid to something as trivial as the pitchers’ batting competition.
There is a friendly battle this season among the starters, but little has been made of it since the bottom-feeding Phillies are playing at a pathetic .425 clip at the All-Star Break.
“We have one [a hitting competition] this year, but I don’t know if it’s a priority for us right now,” Worley said.
Worley, much like mound mates Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, has a decent swing. Hamels is hitting .278 (start him when he’s not pitching) and Lee is batting .214. Worley has yet to get a hit.
“I’ve made contact but right now I’m not thinking about that,” Worley said. “Hits are nice for me and the other pitchers, but right now all I care about is getting wins. That takes precedence over hits. My job is ultimately to keep the team in the game and go as deep as I can. If I need to get a bunt down, I need to get it down. It’s part of the game.”
So far, so good. Worley is on the plus-side when it comes to successful bunts.
“I’m 2-for-3 in bunting situations. I’m doing all right bunting, but I need to be doing all right in every phase of the game. I can hit the ball hard, but I can also pitch deep into games. I have to do more of that and win games for this team with my arm. But I do admit that I enjoy hitting.
“You take things seriously here when you’re up to bat, even if you’re a pitcher (laughs). If you go up there and not look like you’re going to hit, you’re going to get punched out. So I get in there and go for it. That’s how I am in the box and on the mound. I want to do my job at all times to help this team win.”