MIAMI -- As expected, the Pirates announced Saturday that right-hander Vance Worley would start in place of the injured Francisco Liriano on Sunday.
Worley, acquired from the Twins at the end of Spring Training for a player to be named later or cash considerations, put up a 4.30 ERA in seven Minor League starts at Triple-A Indianapolis. He was 3-2 and had struck out 43 hitters while walking just four in 46 innings.
"The last three or four games he pitched in the Minor Leagues, each game he's gotten more crisp," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Fastball command has gotten better, the changeup plays, velocity's good, strong. All of it."
Worley is not one to give up many free passes. In his Major League career, he owns a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.35 across four seasons, something Hurdle attributed to how well Worley set up his changeup.
Pittsburgh will be the third Major League team Worley has played for in five years. Originally drafted by the Phillies in the third round in 2008, he made his debut in 2010 and took the fifth-starter role in 2011. He was third in Rookie of the Year voting that season, which he finished at 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 starts and four relief appearances.
Worley was traded to the Twins after a 2012 season that saw him go 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA in 23 starts. He was Minnesota's Opening Day starter in 2013, but, after logging a 1-5 record and a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts, he was demoted to Triple-A Rochester.
"In Minnesota, going there, sometimes things just don't work," Hurdle said. "And then when they're not working you maybe try and change some things and redirect some things. ... It's just about helping a guy find his way back, something we've had a little experience in doing throughout the years."
Worley is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Marlins. He faced them in his first Major League start, on Sept. 6, 2010.
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.