Is Minnesota Twins Starter Vance Worley Turning Things Around?


May 17, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Vance Worley (49) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Five days ago Vance Worley was one of the starting pitchers for the Twins but after giving up a career-worse eight runs in just 3 2/3 innings when the Twins loss to the Braves 8-3 he was sent  down to Triple-A Rochester Red Wings after that game. Compared to every pitcher in the MLB who had thrown at least 48 innings, no one had a worse ERA (7.91) or walks-plus-hits ratio (1.99 per inning) than Worley.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said last week that Worley needed to work on locating his pitches better while he was down in Rochester. “We’re counting on him,” Gardenhire said. “He has to pitch better than that. He needs to get the ball down and start making quality pitches. Even time he makes a bad pitch, they make him pay for it. He can turn it around, but he needs to make that happen.”

But boy what a difference five days make.

Worley, who was a former Ironpig,  put a stop to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs six game winning streak with a 5-0 shutout in an International League game in Rochester, N.Y.

Against the IronPigs, Worley never allowed a runner past second base and took a three-hitter into the ninth before giving up leadoff singles to Cody Overbeck and Josh Fields. But Worley induced Landro Castro to fly to center and struck out Steve Susdorf and completed his shutout by retiring John Suomi on a groundball to short. He also walked four and struck out four. In the sixth, Rochester tagged IronPigs reliever Greg Smith for four runs, the biggest hit being Fryer’s two-run triple to center. Fryer scored on an infield single to make it 5-0.

Worley — and the Twins — hoped Memorial Day will be looked upon as a turning point in his career with the organization and boy were they right. “They were hoping he could come down, go deep into games and be aggressive with all of his pitches,” Red Wings manager Gene Glynn said. “As much as it is about command, it’s about staying down in the strike zone and being able to change planes with his off-speed pitches.”