Vance Worley's chances of earning the final spot in the Minnesota Twins starting rotation may have been slim entering his spring training start on Tuesday, but after getting pounded by the Tampa Bay Rays, his chances seem to be gone.
Worley allowed 13 hits and seven earned runs in an 11-3 loss to the Rays at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings before being pulled. His spring ERA inflated to an absurd 13.50, according to ESPN.
Twins Daily provided an even more frightening stat: Worley allowed six doubles and didn't make a single hitter swing and miss.
"First inning I wasn't able to get the ball down in the zone, and they hit the ball pretty much everywhere," Worley said. "Third inning, we thought we had everything on the right path, and everything unraveled again."
Worley, Samuel Deduno, Kyle Gibson and Scott Diamond are considered the four pitchers fighting for the No. 5 spot in the rotation. Worley, Deduno and Diamond are out of options, meaning they would have to clear waivers before the Twins could send them to the minors.
Deduno seems to be the likely front-runner for the job. As noted Tuesday in a post about the battle for the starting spot, Deduno has by far outperformed the others this spring. Manager Ron Gardenhire called him "unhittable."
According to the Star Tribune, Gardenhire wants to find a place on the 25-man roster for Deduno.
“I like the kid,” Gardenhire said. “I love the way he goes about his business. People just don’t like facing him. We’ll figure it out.”
Baseball Outsiders believes Worley would clear waivers if he were placed on them today. The 26-year-old right-hander was Minnesota's Opening Day starter last season, but it's been a downhill ride ever since.