The Twins push for pitching help continued right to the end of winter meetings. Minnesota sent center fielder and speedster Ben Revere to the Philadelphia Phillies for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May. Revere was becoming a fan favorite with his blazing speed (he stole 40 bases last season) and electrifying catches in center field. Fans will be sad to see the 24-year old and last season’s .294 batting average depart east.
The trade is a clear move to improve a pitching staff desperate for more power and more talent. The 25-year old Worley was 6-9 with 4.20 ERA last year, but went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA as a rookie in 2011. His decline in 2012 was partly due to pain in his elbow. He is coming off of a September elbow surgery, but is expected to be ready for spring training. Trevor May was 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA in Double-A. He was the Phillies top pitching prospect before his average season last year.
Revere is the second center fielder the Twins have traded in a week. They recently sent Denard Span to Washington for minor league right-hander Alex Meyer. The deal leaves the Twins without a clear option in center. Darin Mastroianni, who hit .252 last season, is the only center fielder on the major league roster. It’s more likely, however, that prospects Joe Benson or Aaron Hicks will take over the position come mid-season.
Worley now joins left-hander Scott Diamond as the only two pitchers that will be locks for the starting rotation in 2013. GM Terry Ryan is making drastic moves to improve pitching, but there’s still a long way to go. Every little bit helps.