Originally posted on The Flagrant Fan  |  Last updated 12/8/12
After trading Denard Span to the Nationals earlier in the off season, it seemed rather odd that the Minnesota Twins would also trade his replacement, Ben Revere. However, the Twins improved their present rotation with Vance Worley in the deal and also received a decent prospect in Trevor May. With the myriad of problems the Twins had last season, the pitching was the largest problem and Worley should be a nice improvement. To be honest, Revere for Worley straight up would have been a good deal for the Twins. To get May in the deal as well is a bonus. You might not agree from casually looking at Worley's statistics for 2012. A 6-9 record with a 4.20 ERA and 1.511 WHIP hardly seems like an improvement for the Twins who gave up more hits as a pitching staff in 2012 than any other American League team. The Twins also finished next to last in runs allowed and homers allowed and were dead last in strikeouts. But sometimes you have to go deeper than those surface stats to see the bigger picture. The linked article at the top of this post indicated that Worley battled most of the year with a bone chip in his elbow. The chip was removed in a September operation that ended Worley's season. If you look closely at Worley's numbers, you can see the effect of the injury in his pitching. For example, His velocity was down slightly and his slider went from being a very good pitch for him in 2011 to being terrible in 2012. His fastball also went from 10.2 runs above average in 2011 (7.3 according to PitchF/X) to -0.6 in 2012 (-3.1 for PitchF/X). Clearly, the elbow problem had to figure into some of the loss of effectiveness in those pitches. The clearest indicator of the problem came with how he fared against left-handed batters. In 2011, he held left-handed batters to a triple slash line of: .201/.271/.299. Those numbers went silly in 2012 and against those same sided batters, his triple slash line was: .312/.386/.462. One last indicator of how the injury affected his pitching: In 2012, batters across the board had better plate discipline against Worley last season. During his cup of coffee season in 2010 and his larger season of 2011, batters would swing at 28 percent of Worley's pitches out of the strike zone. That number fell off to 26.4 percent in 2012. It seems pretty clear that Worley was not as able to fool batters last year as he did the year before. Even so, Worley's season was not quite as bad as it looked. His ERA was 4.20 but his FIP was 3.85. His xFIP and SIERA were also lower than his actual ERA. Some luck had to be involved too as his BABIP rose to an extremely high .340 after finishing at .283 the season before. Also consider that in all nine of Worley's losses, the Phillies scored two runs or less. What should we expect from Vance Worley in 2013? His strikeout rate should remain nearly the same. His 7.2 rate per nine in that category was almost a full strikeout less than his 2011 rate. But that will be offset from not pitching to pitchers every nine at bats. His three-plus walks per nine should improve as the Twins really emphasize that aspect. His OPS against at home last year was a ghastly .861 compared to .739 on the road. With friendlier dimensions at Target Field, those numbers should improve. The key for the Twins will be how well Worley bounces back after his surgery. If his pitches return to the bite of 2011, then they will have made one heck of a deal. But even if he pitches to his 2012 numbers, which seems hardly likely, he will be better than three of the five rotations spots the Twins were throwing out there last season.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker