On the surface, Vance Worley looks like one cool dude.
He wears sport goggles on the mound. He has a mohawk. He even has a sweet nickname as he is known as "The Vanimal." But he'll need all of that coolness to live up to the expectations built for him in 2013.
Twins fans expected general manager Terry Ryan to go and sign several quality free-agent pitchers to bolster a rotation that was the worst in the American League in 2012. Names like Brandon McCarthy, Joe Blanton and Joe Saunders were being tossed around as possible acquisitions, but nothing came of it.
Instead, the Twins rolled the dice on Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey while acquiring Vance Worley in the trade that sent Ben Revere to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The difference between the 25-year-old right-hander and his free-agent counterparts is that he has upside that the other two do not have.
While Correia and Pelfrey are low-ceiling options, Worley is young and talented which gives him room for improvement.
His first two seasons in the major leagues were solid as he went 12-4 with a 2.86 earned run average for the Phillies. He also registered an 8.1 K/9 ratio that can provide loads of relief for a rotation that ranked dead last in the American League with 5.53 ERA in 2012.
While Worley's stats took a dip (6-9, 4.20 ERA, 7.2 K/9) in 2012, a bone chip in his pitching elbow was to blame.
After offseason surgery to fix the problem, Worley will need to pitch to his potential to become the middle of the rotation starter the Twins need.