A night after the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen blew a lead and potential victory, the bullpen was back to its strong self on Saturday night leading the Twins to a 8-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. After starting pitcher Vance Worley only went 5.1 innings to start the game, the bullpen came in to work out of Worley’s mess and shut the door on another Twins’ victory. Although closer Glen Perkins was unavailable for the save on Saturday, due to fatigue after appearing in games over the last few days, setup man Jared Burton was the man called on to nail down the victory and he did so with a one-two-three ninth inning.
Yet for all of the positives and relief that the bullpen garnered yet again on Saturday night, there is still a lot to be concerned about with the performance of Worley. Worley was brought in to be a middle to top of the rotation starter with the Twins who could be an innings eater and workhorse in the rotation. The Twins thought highly enough of him that they dealt their starting centerfielder Ben Revere for Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May, who could wind up being the best player acquired in this deal when it is all said and done. Revere hasn’t played all that well in Philadelphia to start the season, but Worley hasn’t adjusted to his change of scenery well either.
I have gone over in depth over the first month of the season the many issues that I have with Worley and the many struggles that he is enduring to start his career with the Twins. As a result, I am not going to repeat myself with the rant about why Worley is struggling, even though my position on it has not changed; but, simply put, 5.1 innings pitched giving up 11 hits and five runs is unacceptable. Sure you could point to the depth and talent of the Orioles’ lineup for the reason behind those numbers, but it’s time to stop making excuses for Worley’s poor play and just accept the realization that he is not very good right now.
I have begun to wonder if Worley is not healthy or if he needs a trip to the minors or bullpen to regain his composure and feel for his pitches. He simply is not finishing his pitches right now and that is resulting in him leaving the ball up and giving up hit, after hit after hit. Simply remaining at the status quo is not acceptable moving forward with Worley. Am I giving up on Worley at this point? No way, but something has to be done to change what he is doing because the hitters have caught on to whatever he is doing and it isn’t working at this point. Maybe that has something to do with his approach or maybe it is because his pitches aren’t good enough or sharp enough right now. Whatever the case is, something needs to change because if the Twins want to remain in the playoff chase, they need big performances out of Worley instead of countless unproductive starts that end up overworking the bullpen.
Congratulations to Worley for winning his first victory with the Twins; but the Twins won in spite of him on Saturday night, not because of him.