The Pittsburgh Pirates will bring up right-handed pitcher Vance Worley to start against the Miami Marlins on Sunday, according to Dan Zangrilli.
As expected, the Pirates will bring up Vance Worley to start tomorrow against the Marlins.
— Dan Zangrilli (@DanZangrilli) June 14, 2014
The move is expected, as Worley was removed from his previously scheduled start on Friday. That was partially due to the promotion of Nick Kingham, although the fact that Worley isn’t back on the schedule as a starter in Triple-A signaled that he would be up. The Pirates need a new starter in the rotation with Francisco Liriano out for a month with an oblique injury.
Worley was acquired by the Pirates at the end of Spring Training in a small trade with the Twins that sent cash considerations the other way. The Twins had planned to use him as a set-up man, and had outrighted him off the roster. A few days later, he was traded to Pittsburgh, and the Pirates intended on getting him stretched back out. Worley spent the first month of the season in extended Spring Training, getting stretched out and working with Jim Benedict on his mechanics.
The result of that work led to some strong numbers from Worley. His 4.30 ERA in 46 innings isn’t great, but his 43:4 K/BB ratio is outstanding, and projects for better results in the future. He has had previous success in the majors, with a 3.60 ERA in 264.2 innings between 2011 and 2012, along with a 7.7 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9. His 2013 season with the Twins was a disaster, derailed due to injuries. If the Pirates can get the 2011-12 version of Worley, which appeared to be showing up in Triple-A, then they will be getting a steal in this trade, and a big boost to the rotation when it needs it the most.
Worley is out of options, so he will have to be in the majors for good. The upside is that he only has 2.033 years of service time. If he stays up the rest of the year, he’d end the season with 2.139 years of service time. That would make him arbitration eligible after the season, but would give the Pirates four more years of control beyond 2014 if he does work out.