“He’s just getting really back into playing and you’ve got to give him some time,” Manuel said. “He’s shown that he can hit. He’s had spurts where he has really hit the ball hard. … I think the more at-bats he gets, the better he is going to be.”
Manuel also said that Twins fans should have faith that Worley is going to become a solid pitcher for the major league club. The Twins’ Opening Day starter posted a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts before being sent down to Class AAA Rochester.
“Worley is going to be fine,” said his former manager. “He’s a battler and he’s a winner. He goes down there and he gets his velocity back up a little bit and gets the ball down — he can’t pitch high, he has to throw the ball low in the strike zone — but he’ll battle and he’ll get it done. He’ll be back up here.”
Gophers baseball center fielder Troy Larson was selected as a 2013 Capital One Academic All-American, the second year in a row he was awarded that honor.
Larson hit .304 this season, second best on the squad, and had 3.954 grade-point average, one of the best in the entire University of Minnesota student body. Larson is double majoring in genetics/cell biology and biochemistry.
Gophers coach John Anderson recalled Larson showing a questionnaire sent to him by a scout. “Do I have to fill this out,” Anderson recalled Larson saying. “I don’t want to be a pro player, I want to be a doctor.”
• The hot rumor is that while Wells Fargo is talking about building two towers for the new Vikings stadium, the word about U.S. Bank is that it leads in the naming rights deal.
• With Tarvaris Jackson back with the Seahawks, the former Vikings quarterback returned to the team for which he was the starter for most of 2011. Jackson, who was released by Buffalo, will battle Brady Quinn for the backup job behind starter Russell Wilson, coach Pete Carroll told the Seattle Times on Thursday, but the newspaper added that Jackson figures to have the edge because of his familiarity with the playbook and the roster.
• While playing in a charity golf tournament in Chicago, former Vikings quarterback Warren Moon sang the praises of new Bears coach Marc Trestman. Moon said Bears quarterback Jay Cutler should be open-minded to what Trestman offers. “He has an outstanding offensive mind,” Moon said of Trestman. “If Cutler is open to the concepts and different philosophies that Marc brings to the table, he is going to have a lot of success.”
• Vince Taylor, who was with Tubby Smith as a Gophers men’s basketball assistant coach, is expected to rejoin Smith at Texas Tech.
… Pat Knight, son of Bob Knight and the coach at Lamar, is a close friend of new Gophers coach Richard Pitino, and because of that friendship Lamar could end up on the Gophers schedule. … Although Williams Arena needs some upgrades, there are no plans to do any this year because the money isn’t available.
• The Twins will honor Mariano Rivera, as many teams have during his final season with the Yankees, on July 2 at Target Field. “We’ll do a pregame tribute to Mariano out of respect to him as a closer, but really out of respect for him as one of the great humanitarians of the game,” Twins President Dave St. Peter said.