SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Vance Worley could end up starting for the Minnesota Twins on opening day. If he does, he’ll have to pitch better than he has this spring to justify the assignment.
Acquired from Philadelphia in December for outfielder Ben Revere, Worley allowed three runs and six hits over four innings Sunday in Minnesota’s 7-1 loss to a Baltimore Orioles split squad.
In four Grapefruit League starts, the right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. He has allowed 19 hits in 12 innings.
“Some things didn’t go my way. I kept the ball in the infield like I wanted. I just didn’t have it hit to anybody hard enough,” Worley said.
The Twins have high hopes for Worley, who slumped to a 6-9 record with a 4.20 ERA last year after going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA as a Phillies rookie in 2011.
He allowed two runs on four singles and an infield out in the second inning Sunday before giving up J.J. Hardy’s first home run of the spring in the fourth. Worley threw 51 pitches before getting a swing-and-miss.
“I don’t get a lot of swing-and-misses in general. Everybody says the same thing: `You’ve got to get more swing-and-misses.’ Maybe they should swing at those pitches I want them to swing at. That’s really nothing I can do. My job is to get ahead in the count and get them to put the ball in play,” Worley said.
Steve Johnson, one of several pitchers competing for the No. 5 spot in Baltimore’s rotation, threw four scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and walked one while striking out two.
“It is definitely a heated battle, but it’s a lot of fun going out there and competing,” Johnson said. “You’re not only competing against the other team but you’re competing against the other five, six, seven guys or however many we have going after the spot. So it’s a lot of fun and it’s just an honor to be in the running.”
Hardy was 1 for 21 before his home run.
“It was definitely nice to put a barrel to a ball,” he said. “I wasn’t really worried. We still have a few weeks left. I’ll get a few more at-bats. I wasn’t too worried about the first 25 (at-bats) or so, but that definitely felt good.”
Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer and Lew Ford drove in three runs. Ford, a non-roster outfielder, is batting .483 this spring. Wieters is hitting .500.
Notes: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said C Joe Mauer, who returned from the World Baseball Classic, would play Monday against Miami. . . . Minnesota DH Wilkin Ramirez wore his cap during the playing of the national anthem. He finally remembered to remove it near the end of the song. . . . Twins GM Terry Ryan said RHP Deolis Guerra had surgery to remove a rib Friday following a blood clot in his right shoulder. He was expected back in Fort Myers on Sunday. . . . Minnesota LHP Scott Diamond will throw two innings in his first outing of the spring in a minor league game on Monday. . . . Twins RHP Anthony Swarzak needs to be stretched out to five innings for him to be an effective long man, Gardenhire said, and there’s probably not enough time left in spring training for that. As a result, Swarzak, who cracked two ribs wrestling with teammates in January, will probably start the season on the disabled list. . . . Orioles CF Adam Jones returned from the WBC and said he would play again in 2017 if asked. He enjoyed the experience. “It is actually a legit tournament,” Jones said. . . . Baltimore is off on Monday. . . . Minnesota reassigned OFs Brian Dinkelman, Chris Colabello and Clete Thomas, C Eric Fryer, INF Mark Sobolewski, RHP Shairon Martis and Guerra to minor league camp. Martis is with The Netherlands at the WBC. . . . The Orioles optioned OF L.J. Hoes to Triple-A Norfolk.