Remember Vance Worley?
As strange as it is to think a player who was a major part of a trade and who started on Opening Day for the Twins in 2013 is now a dig-out-of-your-memory afterthought, here we are.
Worley was awful for the Twins after coming over in the Ben Revere trade. He was sent to the minors, had a bad spring this year with the Twins, and was then sold to the Pirates. Never to be heard from again, right?
Well, not quite. Pittsburgh called him up, plopped him in its rotation, and now Worley has a 2.28 ERA in four starts. He looks like the guy the Twins hoped they were getting — and apparently Worley blames a lot of his failure here on the Twins. He talked to a Philadelphia reporter recently about his bloated ERA in Minnesota. He said he was suffering from a mechanical problem after recovering from bone chips in his elbow.
“When I went over to the Twins, that was something they never noticed,” Worley told philly.com. “I was flying open, and then you can see everything out of my hand. I changed the mechanics; the next thing I know, I’m in Triple A.”
But the Pirates fixed him during a video session, Worley said. So now we have a dilemma:
• Do we chalk Worley’s failure up to something isolated that the Twins did wrong? The Vanimal had a 7.21 ERA in Minnesota; everywhere else in his brief MLB career (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh), it’s a combined 3.39.
• Do we blame the National League vs. American League effect, which can be overblown but has seemed to bite the Twins with other pitchers (Kyle Lohse, Jason Marquis and perhaps Ricky Nolasco, if this season’s trend continues)?
• Do we lump Worley in with Lohse, Marquis, Nolasco and others for a different reason and question the Twins’ general approach and handling of pitchers? To do so would be fashionable and in line with starters’ ERAs of late, but it would also ignore a rebounding Phil Hughes, a developing Kyle Gibson and a host of pretty good staffs in the 2000s tutored by the same folks.
• Do we decide the sample size in Pittsburgh is far too small to draw any conclusions? Worley is slated to start again Tuesday against the Cardinals, which would only put him halfway to the 10 starts he made for the Twins — and even that is a pretty modest total from which to extrapolate.
Whatever the case, Worley bears remembering if you had forgotten about him.