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Updated: June 11th, 2013 10:47pm
Warne: Twins and Phillies both left wanting more from December trade

Warne: Twins and Phillies both left wanting more from December trade

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by Brandon Warne

MINNEAPOLIS -- It was supposed to be good for both sides. A swap of strength-for-strength. But in the end, the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies have to both feel like they've been duped.

The Twins added righties Vance Worley and Trevor May in last offseason's swap. And if Phillies fans were wondering if they'd get a crack at Worley in their return trip to Target Field, they won't even find him on the active roster.

Worley went 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA before being sent out to Triple-A Rochester. His WHIP ballooned to nearly 2.00; his strikeout rate tumbled by nearly 40 percent. It was to be expected that the move to the junior circuit wouldn't be all that pleasant -- his low swinging strike rate coupled with the move to a DH-allowing league more or less mandated it -- but this was a pitcher who entered the season with a 3.50 career ERA and 7.7 strikeouts per 9 innings.

At the very least, he was expected to be serviceable.

And May has been so-so. He's repeating Double-A, and has seen his strikeouts go down, his walks go up, and his WHIP -- which is sort of akin to a pitcher's blood pressure -- jump from unhealthy to downright alarming. His future may be in the bullpen.

All of this would be quarrelsome if Ben Revere had done anything at all in Philadelphia.

Entering play Tuesday, Revere was hitting .244/.288/.275, which comes out to a .254 wOBA (weighted on-base average, scaled to OBP). For some frame of reference, Revere's best season in Minnesota (2012) resulted in a .300 wOBA. The league mark for wOBA this year is .314.

So while it was well-documented that Revere wasn't expected to be an offensive dynamo, he's lagging well behind even his previous exploits. In fact, this year has been markedly worse than his rookie season offensively, when he only hit .267/.310/.309 (.278 wOBA).

A look at Revere's spray chart via Texas Leaguers clearly shows not much has changed with him. He's still hitting a ton of baseballs in the infield, or just on the outer edge of it.

And it makes sense. What better way for a guy to get on than to hit baseballs on the ground and let your plus speed take over?

But there's inherently a problem here: Few groundballs go for extra base hits. It's extremely difficult to roll a grounder into the gap, so a hitter is forced to hope he rolls a few over the first or third base bag in order to grab precious few extra base hits that this skill set allows.

As a result, Revere only has five extra base hits so far this season, leaving him on pace for right around 15 by season's end. Again, in last year's high-water season for Revere, he only managed 19 extra base knocks. That resulted in a .342 slugging percentage, which was fifth-worst among 143 qualified hitters.

To re-iterate: This was the high-water season for Revere's offensive output.

And it's not like Revere could simply make more contact to somehow make up for these shortcomings. Revere is fifth this season on contact percent (92.4%), and was third last season (92.6%). And that's across the entire MLB.

Only Marco Scutaro has finished ahead of him both seasons. So there's just no added projection potential there.

And while it's not entirely Revere's fault, it does feed into the next point: Revere has already grounded into eight double plays, which is as many as he hit into in all of 2012.

Offense hasn't been the only gripe. According to someone who follows the Phillies closely, opposing teams have tagged and taken second base on Revere at least a half-dozen times. So while Revere is 10th across baseball with five assists, it's sort of the same dynamic as interceptions in football: It's all about opportunity, and teams are robbing Revere blind.

In Tuesday's game this was also on display. Oswaldo Arcia doubled to deep center, and the Phillies should have had a play on Justin Morneau trotting home. Instead, the cutoff man for the Phillies had to run clear out into centerfield to take the relay throw from Revere, nullifying any potential attempt of nailing Morneau at the plate in what proved to be a crucial run in the Twins' 3-2 victory.

In the end, Revere hasn't been the player the Phillies thought they were getting. The same goes for Worley with the Twins.

It's still too early to put a definite grade on this trade for either side, but neither one is passing at this point.

Brandon Warne covers the Minnesota Twins for He has also contributed as a baseball analyst for and
Email Brandon | @Brandon_Warne