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    There's really no way to put a positive spin on Vance Worley's start Tuesday night. With his chance of making the team very much on the line after back-to-back clunkers, the righty came out and delivered the worst outing of this spring -- for him or any other Twins starter.

    The final line: 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 H, 2 BB, 1 K. Six doubles allowed. ZERO swinging strikes on 61 pitches.

    Reflecting on the game, a dejected Worley couldn't find words to explain the disastrous performance.

    "I threw some good pitches to [Evan Longoria], and he's definitely one of the better hitters in that lineup," Worley said, referring to his lone strikeout victim in the second inning. "And, um…"

    He paused for a moment.

    "Things happen. I really don't even know how to elaborate on that."

    Assistant general manager Rob Antony said before the game that the Twins would likely wait a little while yet to make decisions on any of the contenders for their fifth rotation spot, unless it became "obvious" that one was out of the running.

    It appears that we have reached that point with Worley, who has allowed 12 earned runs on 21 hits in 7 2/3 innings over his last three spring outings, with only 12 days remaining until the season opener.

    Worley insists that he's feeling good in his bullpen sessions, and that his pitches were moving the way he wanted them to in the game but he just couldn't seem to locate. It's a refrain we've heard before, and one that usually precedes a demotion. There are few things more concerning to a manager than a guy essentially throwing his hands up in the air.

    At this point the only real question surrounding Worley is whether he'll be working on figuring things out in Rochester or in another organization. The 26-year-old is out of options, and despite his tumultuous run since coming over from Philadelphia, the Twins would rather not lose him. Pitching depth is pitching depth, and the righty maintains some upside even if it's clear he doesn't belong in the majors right now.

    His brutal results this spring, in combination with his struggles last year, may be enough to dissuade other teams from claiming him. That would allow Worley to stay with the Twins and head to Triple-A, where he would likely join the pitcher who came over with him from the Phillies, Trevor May.

    There's your positive spin, I guess.
    Comments 71 Comments
    1. gil4's Avatar
      gil4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      Maybe they should ask him to tank one more start so he will be more likely to pass through waivers.
      Right now I don't think they would have to ask. They could just run him out there again.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by gil4 View Post
      Right now I don't think they would have to ask. They could just run him out there again.
      That's funny and you are probably right. Thing is if he has two good outings I don't think that should be enough for him to go north but it might be enough to keep him from passing through waivers. By the way, this is in response to a prior poster but I was completely kidding about asking him to tank his next game. Best result for the Twins is if he passes waivers and goes to the minors. That's the gut check. If he earns his way back then I tip my cap to him and hope he does well but that is the way it should be done. If he fails then we would rather him do it at the minor league level and that is just the nature of the game.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Right now, you have to wait until the last day to send him thru. If you did it today, another team could claim him and keep him until the last day, and he would probably go thru waivers. 25-man rosters are far from set, so he is the 26th-man on any claim, at the moment. i imagine he would go thru. You can also hold off and keep him on the roster and send him down opening week, too. But, if he is injured now or in the time he's in major league camp, he collects major league salary on the dl. Personally, the Twins have to STOP thinking about options and waivers and anything else. Go with the BEST 25. Trust your depth. If a guy doesn't look like he'll be here next year for sure, don't worry so much about losing him this year. The Parmelees, Diamonds, Worleys, Mastros (even Duensings) are all replaceable parts, if not internally, maybe by picking up someone else's waiver wire guy. The killer is some of these guys stinkin' up the minors and keeping the future from playing now, today. Do we need Diamond and Worley taking starts at AAA. Seriously?
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      When was the last time a 26 year old starter was waived after putting together 250+ sub-4.00 innings followed by just one bad season? Doesn't mean the Twins can't or shouldn't waive him, but it seems like an awfully unusual career path.
    1. golfboy1's Avatar
      golfboy1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Twins Cap View Post
      Worst starting pitcher on the worst starting staff in baseball. Are we really concerned that another team will pick him up? I agree with Shane, this is just plain WEIRD that he is so bad, but weirder things have happened. Time to move on.


      I agree. I realize he's still reasonably young & there is always a chance he will bounce back but do we need to worry that someone will claim a pitcher who had a 7.21 ERA last year and has looked far worse this spring?

      His upside seems likely to be a #4 or 5 starter & we already have plenty of them. He's been passed by plenty of others.

      Trevor May was always "the guy" in the Revere trade. Worley was just a decent throw in. I remember hearing that the Phillies thought the league had figured Worley out & he wasn't likely to be successful in the future
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
      The killer is some of these guys stinkin' up the minors and keeping the future from playing now, today. Do we need Diamond and Worley taking starts at AAA. Seriously?
      Most of the good starting prospects are still over a year away from AAA. And it seems to me that if the Twins can absorb over 300 innings of major and minor league pitching from Nick Blackburn after his 2010 season that made it apparent to everyone but the Twins FO that he's a bad pitcher, they ought to be able to scrape up some innings somewhere for Worley and Diamond to get sorted out.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Yeah your comp is Nick Blackburn. The ages don't lineup perfectly but its the same story. Guy with lackluster stuff suddenly becomes less than 100% perfect with his command, because of injury, psychology, mechanics, age, whatever, and then he gets shelled. There's just no room for error. Even when they hit all their spots, upside is 1-2 years of 4.00 ERA pitching, eg. Worley cca. 2011-2012, Blackburn cca. 2008-2009 or Diamond cca. 2012. This is not a new story, esp. to the Twins.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      I will say that while the Twins have 2 weeks of free control, what I would do is sit Worley down and tell him his only shot of making the club is if he can beat out Fien for the 7th inning spot. Tell him he has 1 inning. See if he can dial it up to 95-96.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      That's cherry picking stats to prove your conclusion. Revere was fringe in 2011 and 2013. After all, I can write a sentence like: I can't believe people are willing to give up a cost controlled SP that put a 3.4 WAR in his second year. The sentence however is misleading; the point is that there's a real debate, and it's pretty easy to see the warts and upside of both Worley and Revere.
      I don't understand why we have to belittle the value Revere would have had to us the last two years in order to establish that Worley has value as well.

      We gave up a valuable outfielder that surely would've helped this team. (If the injury hadn't happened of course) What we got was a pretty solid looking pitcher....we just have to hope we can find that guy again and find a way to keep him.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Even when they hit all their spots, upside is 1-2 years of 4.00 ERA pitching, eg. Worley cca. 2011-2012, Blackburn cca. 2008-2009 or Diamond cca. 2012. This is not a new story, esp. to the Twins.
      Agree with the last part, but Blackburn isn't really a comp for Worley, he's the floor of the range of sustained mediocrity the organization will tolerate. Unlike Worley, Blackburn was unable to miss bats except for the occasional intentional walk. So Worley might end up being the ceiling of the range of mediocre guys they don't tolerate.

      Won't be crying in my Corona if Worleybird is waived and claimed, but after what other guys have repeatedly gotten by with, it would be a bit of a head-scratcher.
    1. jimv2's Avatar
      jimv2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      I was at the game last night. I cannot imagine a scout looking at that and saying he's worth an MLB roster spot. I saw more outs during batting practice. And there were no bloopers or dribblers. Everything was hit on the screws, with several good defensive plays behind him. It's not like this is the first bad outing, either. We saw similar performance in his time with the Twins last year and earlier in the spring. You'd have to be pretty desperate to take a flier on him.
      From my observations, the problem with Worley is pretty clear: His stuff doesn't play unless he keeps the ball at the knees. He was doing that in Philly, but since he came over here, he has not.

      No idea what the solution is, though. There are some hints that he's just overthrowing, and that may be affecting either a sinking quality to his pitches or the release point or....? I suspect this "Vanimal" stuff isn't helping, nor is anxiety. He maybe has a chance if he figures out again how to pitch rather than throw.

      The problem the Twins have is that he does have upside. He has proven major league ability. But can it be tapped again? We could stash him in the bullpen for a while, using him only in low stress situations like mopping up forgone losses, and maybe he could find himself before we get to the point in May where bullpen depth becomes critical. The DL possibility someone proposed could work.

      If they DFA him, somebody will pick him up and then DFA him. So if we're going to DFA him, it has to be at a time where a team wanting to pick him up is forced to option (or DFA) another player. That happens on last cutdown day. And even then, a team may be willing to do that. And when that team evntually DFAs him, maybe another team picks him up. But eventually the merry-go-round stops, and the last team gets to send him to the minors to try to figure out a way to consistently keep the ball down. I'd really like for us to be that team. Because if he and his coaches do figure it out, he's a good pitcher.
    1. bdoom5's Avatar
      bdoom5 -
      Just release him. I don't want him taking minor league innings from our young pitchers who need them.
    1. bdoom5's Avatar
      bdoom5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by gil4 View Post
      Right now I don't think they would have to ask. They could just run him out there again.
      So True!
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      When was the last time a 26 year old starter was waived after putting together 250+ sub-4.00 innings followed by just one bad season? Doesn't mean the Twins can't or shouldn't waive him, but it seems like an awfully unusual career path.
      The results with the Phillies was the aberration, what we are seeing now is the norm.
      It wasnt too hard to predict if you look at the numbers outside of the shiny ERA. You cant sustain a K/looking rate like Worley had. Unless you have nasty stuff (which he doesnt), making hitters take strike 3 is not a skill, its just a freak instance of randomness.
      Add to that, the fact that he isnt committed to baseball, as evidenced by his comments regarding his conditioning last year, and his constant excuses after bad performances, and you have a bad combination.
      I got ripped pretty hard last year when I predicted this outcome, but it is no big loss if Worley is claimed by another team, I don't see a reason to wait.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Would one good game actually change anything? Pitchers are stacking-up in the system (remember those signed this off-season?)--cut Worley loose and give a game to somebody worthy.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Would one good game actually change anything? Pitchers are stacking-up in the system (remember those signed this off-season?)--cut Worley loose and give a game to somebody worthy.
      Exactly.
      If Worley can't crack the rotation this year, when will he?
      Hopefully by this time next year Gibson and Meyer will be in the rotation, and by then you'll have a couple more young guys knocking on the door, with Nolasco and Hughes signed multiple years, this was the year for him to sink or swim, I don't see a future here for the 'Vanimal'.
    1. DiscGolfer's Avatar
      DiscGolfer -
      If he gets claimed off waivers does he need to stay on that team's 25 man roster?
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      The results with the Phillies was the aberration, what we are seeing now is the norm.
      It wasnt too hard to predict if you look at the numbers outside of the shiny ERA. You cant sustain a K/looking rate like Worley had. Unless you have nasty stuff (which he doesnt), making hitters take strike 3 is not a skill, its just a freak instance of randomness.
      Fewer than 50 innings is the norm, and the preceding 5 years, 2 in the majors, were the aberration? Maybe it's the new norm if his arm is still screwed up, but otherwise... really?

      If you look past the shiny ERA, you see shiny (for the Twins) FIPs and xFIPs, BABIP fortune that evens out to average or so, and K/BB and HR rates that should allow a pitcher to sustain a 4ish ERA most of the time.

      Worley's chance of continued success in a major league rotation took another hit last year, after the 2012 arm problem dealt the first one. And there's no clear place to put him. But for a franchise that blocked half of its top four rotation spots for KC and Pelf again, discarding Worley looks like it might be another sign that a franchise that has been one of the worst in MLB at figuring out starting pitching has failed yet again.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      It's the zero swinging strikes that is most telling, IMO. Sometimes, the BABIP gods can be cruel and everything put in play seems to find a hole. But if you can't get even one swing and miss in 61 pitches, it seems to me you're not throwing major league stuff. Send him down, and if someone claims him so be it.
      Yeah. Also, everything was hit hard. My buddy called it the parade of doubles. There was no luck here. It was pure, unadulterated crappy pitching. In a regular season game, he wouldn't have lasted through the second inning.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Fewer than 50 innings is the norm, and the preceding 5 years, 2 in the majors, were the aberration? Maybe it's the new norm if his arm is still screwed up, but otherwise... really?

      If you look past the shiny ERA, you see shiny (for the Twins) FIPs and xFIPs, BABIP fortune that evens out to average or so, and K/BB and HR rates that should allow a pitcher to sustain a 4ish ERA most of the time.

      Worley's chance of continued success in a major league rotation took another hit last year, after the 2012 arm problem dealt the first one. And there's no clear place to put him. But for a franchise that blocked half of its top four rotation spots for KC and Pelf again, discarding Worley looks like it might be another sign that a franchise that has been one of the worst in MLB at figuring out starting pitching has failed yet again.
      Except that all of those metrics were aided by his unsustainable strike 3 looking rate.
      You didnt find it the least bit interesting that a team that values SP as much as the Phillies do would just "throw in" Worley in that trade if they didn't see this coming?
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