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Worley has rough start in rotation audition

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Worley has rough start in rotation audition play video for Worley has rough start in rotation audition

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It wasn't the way Vance Worley envisioned his start would go against the Rays on Tuesday night.

Worley, who is competing for the final spot in the rotation along with Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond and Kyle Gibson, struggled mightily in his fourth Grapefruit League outing.

The right-hander gave up seven runs on 11 hits, including six doubles, over 2 2/3 innings, suffering a blow to his chances of landing the final spot in the rotation. Deduno remains the favorite for that final spot, but Worley, Gibson and Diamond were all given consecutive starts this week to showcase their stuff.

Gibson starts Wednesday against the Cardinals and Diamond starts Thursday against the Rays, but Worley's outing on Tuesday simply didn't help his chances to make the rotation. But Worley, who has a 13.50 ERA this spring, said it remains out of his control, and all he can do is keep working to get better.

"All I can do is go out and work," Worley said. "They know I'm out there working really hard and doing everything I can. I lost all this weight. So I gotta do something right, and hopefully they see that."

Worley was jumped early, giving up a double to Wil Myers on just the second pitch of the game. It didn't get much better from there as Myers had three doubles on the night, including an RBI double with two outs in the third to chase Worley from the game.

"I prepared myself all week to start and everything went well in the bullpen, but I took it out there and the first inning I couldn't get the ball down in the zone," Worley said. "They hit the ball pretty much everywhere. And the second inning we tried to pound in some four-seam [fastballs], because the two-seamers were staying up in the zone, and they came in hacking. And the third inning, I thought we had everything on the right path and everything unraveled again."

Worley is out of Minor League options, so if he doesn't make the rotation, the Twins have to determine whether to convert him to a reliever to keep him on the roster, or expose him to waivers to send him to Triple-A Rochester.

"He warmed up as well as I've ever seen him, and then as soon as they said, 'Play ball,' the ball was elevated," Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "The more he tried and pressed, the more he elevated."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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