| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pirates notebook: Worley to take Liriano's spot in rotation Sunday

Bill Gentry | Indianapolis Indians
Vance Worley was recalled from Triple-A to start for the Pirates on Sunday.

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Pirates podcasts

  • Loading...

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, June 14, 2014, 4:36 p.m.

MIAMI — Vance Worley will start Sunday's game at Miami for the Pirates, filling in for the injured Francisco Liriano. The Pirates hope the right-hander can be another successful reclamation projection and provide pitching depth as the Pirates attempt to weather injuries to their starting rotation.

Worley posted a 3-2 record with a 4.30 ERA at Triple-A Indianapolis, but his underlying stats suggest he has been better as he has produced a sparkling 43-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 46 innings.

The Pirates are hoping Worley returns to being the effective mid-rotation starter he was in Philadelphia in 2011-12 when he produced a 17-12 record and a 3.60 ERA over 264 23 innings.

Worley suffered a dramatic decline in value last year.

He was traded to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Ben Revere in December 2012 and was named the Twins' Opening Day starter. After he produced a 7.21 ERA and a 1-5 record in 10 starts, he was acquired by the Pirates for cash considerations in late March.

“He's a guy we've liked,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We've actually seen this guy a couple springs ago (pitch) very well. ... The fastball command has been better. The changeup has been a go-to pitch.”

Worley said he was not healthy to begin 2013 after having bone chips removed from his elbow at the end of the 2012 season and then dealing with biceps tendonitis in spring training. He was surprised the Twins wanted him to lead their rotation.

“My arm is definitely back, just all around,” Worley said. “The velocity is back, the movement is back on everything.”

Worley also has credited his improvement to working with Pirates pitching guru Jim Benedict on fixing some mechanical flaws.

The Pirates hope they have unearthed another bargain like they did with A.J. Burnett and Liriano.

Said Worley: “I'm looking forward to getting my feet wet again.”

Plan for Cole revealed

Gerrit Cole (shoulder fatigue) could join the rotation soon after he is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday, Hurdle said.

Cole is scheduled to throw a full bullpen session Sunday. If that goes well, Hurdle said the next step would be a simulated game Wednesday. After that, Cole could rejoin the rotation on the next road trip, which features trips to Chicago and Tampa Bay.

“He's in a good place,” Hurdle said. “If everything stays the way it is, we could have him back a few days after (June 19).”

Cole passed a number of stress tests to gauge his shoulder strength before returning to throw earlier in the week.

“I feel good,” Cole said Saturday. “I just have to take care of some throwing (Saturday) and see how it goes (Sunday).”

Bucs sign top arms from draft

The Pirates announced the signings of second-round pick Mitch Keller (selected 64th overall) and Comp B pick Trey Supak (73rd overall) on Saturday.

Keller and Supak fit into the club's preference for tall, projectable, high school pitching prospects and both signed bonuses of $1 million, according to Baseball America, above the slot value for their draft positions.

Keller was rated as the 69th-best prospect in the draft according to; Supak was 62nd. Both were assigned to the Gulf Coast League. The only player drafted by the Pirates in the top 100 overall that remains unsigned is outfielder Conner Joe.

Pepper games

Josh Harrison (left ankle) returned the starting lineup Saturday, hitting fifth and playing second base. … Gregory Polanco's mother was in attendance for his five-hit night Friday that included his first home run, which was a game-winner.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pirates

  1. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  2. McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
  3. Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
  4. Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015
  5. Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
  6. Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
  7. Pirates’ Liriano unaffected by poor last outing against Twins
  8. Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 29, 2015
  9. Making splash at MLB trade deadline not always in buyers’ best interest
  10. Cole collects MLB-best 14th win as Pirates take series against Nationals
  11. Starting 9: Pirates help and the illusion of help