While the Twins have watched their supposed No. 1 starter, Ricky Nolasco, pitch poorly more often not, the pitcher who was their Opening Day starter in 2013 is trying to get his career back together with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Although it's only been four starts, Vance Worley has been impressive with the Pirates. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his last start and has a 2.28 ERA since joining the team's rotation about three weeks ago.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Worley said the Pirates spotted a flaw in his deliver that Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson and others failed to see. He said it was the after-effect of the surgery that he had to remove bone chips from his elbow before the 2013 season. Worley and Trevor May, currently considered one of the Twins' top pitching prospects, were picked up from Philadelphia after the 2012 season in a trade for outfielder Ben Revere.
Worley had a 7.21 ERA for the Twins last season and spent much of the year in the minors. After a poor spring training, he was sold to the Pirates. That's when he hooked up with Pirates assistant Jeff Benedict, who works with pitchers through the team's organization.
Worley told Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News that he was healthy last season, but that his mechanics were off. He called it "cheating," using his shoulder more in his delivery.
"When I went over to the Twins, that was something they never noticed," Worley told Lawrence. "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."
Benedict watched Worley and told him: "You're throwing like you're still hurt."
Mechanics were tweaked and Worley feels like he's regained the form that led to an 11-3 record and 3.01 ERA in 2011.
"Everything's there," Worley told the Daily News. "It was just this vs. that. I'm just glad that they believed in me and knew who I was and what I was capable of."
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