Two offseasons ago the Twins acquired Vance Worley from the Phillies as part of the trade for Ben Revere. At the time Worley was 25 years old with a 3.50 ERA in 278 career innings and looked capable of being a solid, cheap middle-of-the-rotation starter for several seasons.
He started on Opening Day for Minnesota, but was disastrous with a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts before getting demoted to the minors. Worley was so bad that the Twins removed him from the 40-man roster after the season and he passed through waivers unclaimed by the other 29 teams.
At that point the Twins could have simply assigned Worley to Triple-A, but instead they decided to cut bait completely and sold him to the Pirates for a little cash. It was a total give-away move and there was no real reason for it other than the Twins wanting to wash their hands of the entire situation.
Last night Worley tossed a complete-game shutout against the Giants, improving to 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 50 innings for the Pirates. At age 26 he once again looks capable of being a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter thanks to Pittsburgh getting him healthy, giving him some coaching on his mechanics, showing a little patience, and basically doing what Minnesota wouldn’t or couldn’t. And that’s become a familiar story for Twins fans.
Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.
It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.
Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.