Twins name Worley their Opening Day starter

The Twins newcomer put in his final start of the spring before Monday.


– His pitch count pushing 30 — in the first inning — Vance Worley was about to finish spring training with another poor performance, raising more questions about the strength of the Twins starting rotation.

Then Worley found his groove, retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced. His innings hummed along and suddenly the Twins saw what they were looking for when they traded for him in December.

Worley on Wednesday found some things to build on heading into his next start — which happens to be the first game of the regular season.

The righthander has been named the Twins’ Opening Day starter for Monday, when he will take the ball in a matchup with Detroit ace Justin Verlander.

“The big thing was watching our starter throw the ball,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was sharp. Good breaking balls today. It was the best we’ve seen him.

“We always say ‘your ace,’ and for us it is the guy who takes the ball each day is our ace and we’ll go from there. And he’s going to get it the first day.”

Worley helped the Twins beat Pittsburgh 7-4, holding the Pirates to two runs over five innings on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He struggled early, throwing 27 of his 80 pitches in the first inning. Then he made a big mistake in the third, giving up a solo homer to Pedro Alvarez. After that, he got on his roll, leaving everyone impressed with his outing and optimistic about his season.

“He’s a guy who gets after it and works hard,” Twins catcher Joe Mauer said. “I noticed that the first day of camp.”

Worley, who came to the Twins along with prospect Trevor May from Philadelphia in December in exchange for Ben Revere, finishes spring training 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA, but he pitched a little better in his past two outings. Worley responded after pitching coach Rick Anderson challenged him and other pitchers to step up their games before the team broke camp.

The Twins did not announce the rest of their rotation. After Worley, righthanders Kevin Correia, Cole De Vries and Mike Pelfrey are lined up, based on the spring rotation. Worley was penciled in to start Opening Day coming into camp, but the Twins waited until Wednesday to announce the appointment in case they wanted to make a change.

Anderson said there’s a mental progression a pitcher makes during spring training as well as physical. After Worley gave up four earned runs over five innings to the Yankees on Friday, Anderson told him it was time to step up his game. And Worley responded.

“We had to talk about it, and it made my last bullpen more game-like,” Worley said. “I focused on throwing it like there was a batter in there. I got a better feel for everything.”

Worley will be symbolic of the changes the Twins have made to their rotation, a makeover made necessary following a 2012 season during which the Twins finished 66-96. Many of those 96 losses were games in which the starting pitcher was knocked out early.

The Twins sought innings and reliability with the offseason moves. And Worley will be the first of the new crew to debut.

“I’m excited,” he said, “especially after having the spring I had. Worked some kinks out. I threw the ball well [Wednesday], with the exception of that bomb [to Alvarez], but everything went well.”


  • related content

  • Twins notes: Burnett sent to Rochester

    Thursday March 28, 2013

    Righthander Alex Burnett paid the price for his poor spring, as the Twins optioned him to Class AAA Rochester to work out some kinks.

  • Buxton gets a day at the top of the Twins order

    Thursday March 28, 2013

    Outfielder Byron Buxton, the second overall pick in last year’s draft, started in center field and played all nine innings of the Twins’ 7-4 victory over Pittsburgh

  • Twins starting pitcher Vance Worley

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Minnesota «00201000611140
Kansas City0011010005121
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Swarzak(3-1) L:B.Chen(2-4)
HR: MIN- None KAN- A.Gordon (17)


Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8:00 PM
UNLV 9:30 PM
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question