FORT MYERS, FLA. – Vance Worley will have to reconnect with his inner Vanimal elsewhere.
The Twins sold Worley, their Opening Day starter last year, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for an undisclosed amount on Tuesday.
Worley made four appearances during spring training, three as a starter. In 10⅔ innings, he gave up 16 runs on 22 hits and five walks. That includes a March 18 game against Tampa Bay in which he was tagged for six doubles. He was cut from camp, clearing waivers, shortly after that.
Worley came to the Twins along with righthander Trevor May before the 2013 season in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere. Worley wound up as the Twins’ Opening Day starter but was sent down to Class AAA Rochester in May after going 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA.
Guerrier sticks around
Righthander Matt Guerrier didn’t go far after being released Monday. He signed a minor league deal with the Twins on Tuesday as he completes his comeback from flexor mass surgery in August.
“Everything is going in the right direction,” said Rob Antony, Twins assistant general manager. “The velocity is fine. He’s in great shape. They love him down in the clubhouse.”
The 35-year-old Guerrier, who pitched for the Twins from 2004 to 2010, reported to camp on time but was eased through his bullpen work because of the surgery. He gave up three runs over four innings this spring and will remain in extended spring training. Once he feels he is 100 percent, he will pitch for Rochester.
If Guerrier has not been called up to the Twins by May 8, he can become a free agent and look for another club.
“I think the out clause is fine, with reasonable time for us to take a look and if there are several guys ahead of him there is no sense of holding him down there all year to see if we need him in August or September,” Antony said. “If he pitches well, then we make the decision to bring him up to the big leagues. If not, and he’s pitching well, then he can go seek an opportunity with another big-league club.”
With less than two weeks to go, there are still at least 4,000 unsold tickets for the Twins’ home opener April 7 against Oakland. While some of the sluggish sales could be attributed to the run of bad weather, the Twins’ 291 losses over the three previous seasons has made tickets far from a hot commodity.
“We remain confident that we will approach a sellout,” Twins President Dave St. Peter said.
• The Twins officially added Jason Kubel to their 25-man roster. Kubel was 1-for-4 on Tuesday during a 4-1 victory over Baltimore and is batting .216 this spring. “I think he’s taken better at-bats,” Antony said. “Still believe he’s a professional hitter who has something left and has the ability to drive in some runs.”
Righthander Ricky Nolasco will make his final start of spring training Wednesday when the Twins play host to Pittsburgh. Righthander Edinson Volquez is scheduled to go for the Pirates.
La VELLE E. NEAL III