6/14/2014 5:23 P.M. ET
Worley to debut for Bucs in finale vs. Marlins
By Maria Torres / MLB.com
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.
Harrison returns to lineup, but in new spot
MIAMI -- Josh Harrison returned to the Pirates' starting lineup on Saturday afternoon at Marlins Park in a new slot in the batting order.
Harrison had led off in 28 of his 31 starts, but with Gregory Polanco penciled into the first slot for the third straight game, Harrison was moved down to fifth for the first time this year. He entered Saturday with a .310 average as a starter.
Manager Clint Hurdle said Harrison, who turned his ankle in Wednesday's game against the Cubs, ran well on Friday and should have enough range to play second base effectively.
"Josh is ready to go," Hurdle said. "We're confident that he's in a position to run and make the moves he needs to."
Harrison's return came just in time for the Pirates' eighth game against a left-handed starting pitcher. His .333 average and three RBIs against southpaws this year was among the best on the team. But the Pirates as a whole are not doing too badly when facing lefties -- entering Saturday they had a .269 average (fifth in the National League, eighth in the Majors) with nine homers against them.
High school arms among latest Draft signings
MIAMI -- The Pirates announced Saturday that they had signed nine more Draft picks, including high schoolers Mitch Keller (64th overall) and Trey Supak (73rd overall). Both are right-handed pitchers who were ranked in the top 100 on MLB.com's Top 200 Prospects list.
Second-rounder Keller, who was rated the 69th best player in the Draft, recorded a 1.72 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings as a senior at Xavier High School in Iowa. It was a breakout season for him, as he added 6 to 8 mph to a fastball that now ranges between 90-94 mph.
Supak (No. 62), who was the Pirates' Competitive Balance B pick, had a perfect 9-0 senior season at La Grange High School in Texas.
The team has signed 25 of its Draft picks and eight of its top 10.
• Gerrit Cole was still in line to throw 25 to 35 pitches in a bullpen session on Sunday. Should that go well, Hurdle said Cole could be in line to throw a simulated game on Wednesday. Cole is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list (shoulder fatigue) on Thursday, but the Pirates will wait on him a little longer.
"If everything stays the way it is, we can have him back a few days after that," Hurdle said.
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.