Interesting piece by Matt Gelb in the Inq today, taking a look at one of the key questions for the Phillies this year: How will starter Vance Worley fare after the league has had a season's look at him? Worley's success had a lot to do with a particular out-pitch, his sinker, but opposing hitters began anticipating that later in the season.
The book was out: With two strikes, expect Worley to throw the sinker, usually inside. In 2011, 55 percent of Worley's strikeouts were looking. The major-league average was 24 percent, and only New York's Bartolo Colon had a higher percentage looking than Worley. In other words, Worley can expect more swings on two-strike counts if he keeps throwing the sinker the way he did last year.
The good news, as Gelb details via some candid discussions with Worley and personal catcher Brian Schneider, is that the battery is already working on new ways to keep batters guessing at Worley's next pitch. Plus, Worley is working on a few new pitches, including one suggested by Roy Halladay. Not a bad group of pitchers to be around if you're looking for some tips. Highly recommend swinging by and reading this one, a great spring training cup-of-coffee read on a 40º Delco morning.
>>Phillies' Worley works to stay ahead of hitters
SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.
Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.
The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.
Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.
Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.
It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).
The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.
There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.
Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.