It’s not often that you see an Opening Day starter sent to the minors, let alone demoted less than two months into the season, but that’s exactly what the Twins just did with Vance Worley.
Worley got knocked around for eight runs in 3.2 innings against the Braves today, falling to 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA overall this season. And now the 25-year-old right-hander is headed back to Triple-A, where he last pitched in 2011, and Minnesota makes another change to what has been an absolutely brutal rotation for two years running.
Worley, who was acquired along with prospect Trevor May from the Phillies for Ben Revere this offseason, posted a 3.50 ERA in 278 innings for Philadelphia.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.