Free Kevin Slowey

Over the last three years, 87 starting pitchers have accumulated at least 400 innings pitched, or an average of just under three per team. Due to injuries and poor performance, most teams end up using their last two rotation spots as a never-ending wheel of fill-ins, which is one reason why pitchers with decent track records of success often get large amounts of money in free agency. In fact, even the guys at the bottom of this list in terms of results keep getting opportunities, since they have a track record that organizations can point to.

However, one of the guys on this list – a guy with a good track record, who is pretty much square in the middle of the results no matter what metric you use – just his lost job this week. And it’s somewhat shocking to me that no one has swooped in to make him a part of their rotation yet.

This guy ranks 56th in ERA among starters (again, 400 IP minimum) since 2008, one spot ahead of Josh Beckett. He ranks 41st in FIP, one spot ahead of Gavin Floyd. He ranks 48th in xFIP, just ahead of Paul Maholm. Yet, despite being peers with some pretty well regarded pitchers, Kevin Slowey has found himself slotted in as the Twins long reliever, if they can’t find anyone to trade for him.

Slowey would represent a legitimate upgrade over at least one member of nearly every rotation in baseball. Over the last three years, the only pitchers in baseball with a better strikeout to walk ratio are Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Dan Haren, and none of those three have pitched exclusively in the American League during that stretch.

Yes, Slowey is an extreme fly ball pitcher who gives up a good amount of home runs, thanks in large part to an average fastball that doesn’t quite crack 90 MPH. However, his secondary stuff is pretty good, he has terrific command, and he hasn’t shown any kind of real platoon split throughout his career. Slowey is a perfectly capable mid-rotation starter, doesn’t turn 27 until May, and is only owed $2.7 million in salary this year.

There are 150 Major League rotation spots in play each year. By nearly any objective measure, Slowey is one of the 100 best starting pitchers in baseball right now. And yet, he’s ticketed for a low-leverage bullpen role, while Arizona rolls out a guy like Joe Saunders – at best, no better than Slowey, and probably worse – as their opening day starting pitcher.

I get that the Twins have a deep rotation, but Bill Smith‘s phone should have been ringing off the hook the minute that Slowey became available in trade. If he had the exact same results, but his fastball clocked in several miles-per-hour faster, teams would be falling all over themselves to acquire Slowey – for evidence, see Edwin Jackson. However, because Slowey is a command guy without an obvious plus pitch, he’s slapped with the replaceable #5 starter label, even though his performance in the big leagues has been demonstrably better than that.

It’s a common cry that there’s not enough pitching to go around in baseball. It’s tough to take those cries too seriously when Kevin Slowey can’t land a job as a starting pitcher.

Print This Post

Dave is a co-founder of and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

110 Responses to “Free Kevin Slowey”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Joltin' Joe says:

    Maybe demand is low because he’s never healthy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joe R says:

      Still, a 27 year old starter coming off a season where he FIP’d under 4 being unemployed is baffling.

      SOMEONE has to want this guy.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mark says:

        Maybe I’m not understanding how FIP works, but for a pitcher who gives up home runs at such an extreme rate (ie thanks to the high FB rate), wouldn’t we expect him to have an ERA higher than his FIP? So while he did have a sub 4 FIP, I wouldn’t expect his ERA to be sub 4.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel Dawson says:


        HR’s are one of the three inputs to FIP. If a pitcher gives up a lot of home runs, his FIP is going to reflect that. And when you look at FIP and compare outcomes for groundball and flyball pitchers, it tends to inflate expected runs for flyball pitchers. If anything, Slowey’s FIP would probably be a slight bit higher than his actual runs allowed.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mark says:

        I realize HR’s are one of the 3 outputs of FIP. What I’m saying is more along the lines of players with extreme FB or GB rates aren’t accurately represented by FIP.

        For instance take Tim Hudson – he’s got a career FIP of 3.82 and an ERA of 3.42. He’s got a 60% career GB rate. So my thinking is that if an extreme GB guy can have his ERA significantly lower then his FIP, then couldn’t we argue the opposite – that an extreme FB pitcher would always have a higher ERA then his FIP? Slowey’s got one of the worst GB rates in the league, so my expectations would be that he’d always underperform his FIP, resulting in a higher ERA.

        Essentially, what I’m saying is that in an extreme case, such as a Slowey or a Hudson, FIP isn’t the best (or most accurate) tool to use.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • fredsbank says:

        FIP has a huge hard on for low bb/9

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        Mark, if you look at huge groups of pitchers, instead of just one, you’ll find that FIP for flyball pitchers tends to be higher than their ERA, while FIP for groundball pitchers is lower than their ERA.

        If you look at what FIP leaves out, you can understand why this would be so. Because FIP excludes all non-home run batted balls, it essentially treats them all as equal. But we know this is not so. Non-home run flyballs are less costly to a pitcher than groundballs are. Because those batted balls result in fewer runs, flyball pitchers generally don’t allow as many runs as FIP suggests they do, while groundball pitchers allow more.

        It’s not a huge difference, and there’s a lot inherent randomness with how and when runs are allowed, so it’s hard to see this if you look at only a few pitchers, and any one pitcher could deviate from this.

        Again, it’s not a huge difference, like maybe a fifth of a run for an extreme flyball pitcher and vice-versa for an extreme groundball pitcher, but it’s something to keep in mind when looking at a pitcher’s FIP. It might slightly under-estimate flyball pitchers while slightly over-estimating groundball pitchers.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Kevin S. says:

    Think he just might represent an upgrade over Big Fat Bartolo Colon?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. keegs says:

    I bet someone would trade for him if his name was Kevin Fasty.

    +82 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. bgrosnick says:

    This drives me up the wall. The Mets are about to run Chris Capuano and Chris Young out there every fourth and fifth day – I’d have to think that there’s SOMEONE on the roster Bill Smith would take in exchange for Slowey. Slowey would be better than those two due to that lower walk rate…plus it would give the team something it needs desperately – depth in the rotation.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • snapper says:

      The Mets don’t have the $2.7M. Seriously.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dan Duquette says:

      I would have shipped them that Mejia kid in fifteen minutes.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Sean says:

      I’m actually a big fan of Capuano this year, as is every projection system I’ve looked at.. Chris Young is a different story.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • bgrosnick says:

        I do think Capuano was a reasonable bargain – but I also don’t buy that he’s better than Slowey.Yes, he’s left-handed, and that means something – but projected walk rates mean more, especially if we’re talking about (god-willing) 150-200 innings. Of the three projection systems I’ve seen (James / Marcel / PECOTA) – they all say something similar. Capuano has a very slight edge on SO and HR (but only a slight one), but Slowey has a dramatic edge on projected BB/9 – somewhere around 1 walk per 9. With that, as well as age, price, and durability concerns, I still go with Slowey, if the funds are there.

        I absolutely share your concern about Young. If I could replace one with Slowey, it would be Young, not Capuano. But the truth is as everyone says, there’s no disposable 2.7 million around to get him. I get that it’s a pipe dream.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bob says:

      I’ve been all over this for a while (as a Met fan)… but the sad reality is that the Mets don’t have the scratch.

      If Slowey is still a Twin y June and the Mets are out by double digits then you know they will be looking to move Jose Reyes. Slowey plus 2 prospects makes a lot of sense esp with Slowey having 2 additional yrs of control.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RogPodge says:

      Capuano is better than Slowey. Less durable, but better.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Jeromy Irons says:

    I’m sort of shocked that a team whose home park would mask his most serious defect – the home run – hasn’t gone after him. Why aren’t the Dodgers calling? Why aren’t the Mets calling? And why, oh why, aren’t the Mariners calling?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • David M. says:

      The Dodgers aren’t calling because they already have 6 starters in addition to the usual set of prospect fill-ins.

      As for the Mets and the Mariners…that question kind of answers itself, doesn’t it?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steven Ellingson says:

      Or the Twins!

      +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • dnc says:

      Safeco would not go very far to help Slowey as he’s a right handed pitcher, and Safeco is essentially a neutral park to left handed hitters.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • philosofool says:

        Safeco is a good park for all pitcheres. It depresses wOBA from both sides of the plate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Sean says:

        A neutral HR park. I don’t think it’s neutral overall, though I might be bothered to look if I wasn’t lazy.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matthias says:

        Yeah, Safeco supresses run-scoring overall for any pitcher, but especially the LEFT-handed fly-baller. That said, Statcorner claims that safeco still reduces homeruns to lefties by 9% over the average ballpark. So Slowey’s flyball rates might be nullified some.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • RDavies says:

      He’d be the 2nd best starter in the Mariners rotation. Their plan of self sabotage would be…well…sabotaged.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jrdo410 says:

        Not sure Slowey is better than Pineda or Bedard, even if Bedard only makes 5 starts. That being said, I’d take him. Trade for Aardsma?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Gary York says:

      Mmm . . . shocked is a little strong.

      Shocked would be, for example, finding out that Lindsay Lohan had just come up with a proof for the Riemann hypothesis.

      +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. OB says:

    Bill Smith’s phone can ring all day, but he don’t got to answer it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • OB says:

      Recall, this is the same Bill Smith who won’t trade Drew Butera. I think the Twins like their ballclub as is.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • todmod says:

      Exactly – the Twins may be squandering a resource for now, but it’s not like they have a perfectly healthy pitching staff. I’m pretty sure they value having Slowey around as a 6th starter, or he would have been traded already.

      The fact that a player isn’t being used optimally does not mean that they will be given away for cheap.

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bill says:

        But, the fact that they are ok with him starting the season as the swingman indicates that they don’t properly value him. A GM who properly values only needs to offer an equivalent value in the Twins eyes and they would get themselves a decent starter. Maybe Smith would see Aardsma and a low level prospect as equivalent value.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mike H says:

        Yeah, but Nick Blackburn? Come on. Nick Blackburn is the guy you use as a swingman.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Stringer Bell says:

    Why the fuck is Nick Blackburn in the rotation over him? How much sucking does Nick Blackburn have to do?

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Royal Man says:

    Well, Slowey would certainly be a nice fit in KC and that would allow the Royals to outright release Davies or trade him to anyone who wants him for anything they want to give back…but the Royals seem enamored with Davies and keep paying him more money to play worse and worse. The Twins also don’t seem to be in hurry to deal him, so maybe they are not that confident in Blackburn.

    Nice piece, Dave.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Telo says:

    I think the truth is, as usual, somewhere in between common conception and what exists in Dave’s mind.

    There are legit concerns over a soft tossing guy with a 28.3% GB rate pitching half of his games in any park that isn’t a cavernous as Target.

    Yes, he has good command, and yes, that can often be overlooked by teams, who sometimes overvalue bat missing, flashy guys. But let’s not go overboard and say that “Bill Smith‘s phone should have been ringing off the hook”. This is not a slam dunk. Slowey just does not make sense to any team looking to add a rotation arm. Is he useful? Of course. But again, with shades of grey.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Vegemitch says:

      I don’t recall specifics right now but wasn’t the Metrodome a good flyball hitter’s park? He was only in Target in 2010…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. EdwardM says:

    Any chance they’re simply planning on using him sparingly in the early part of the year so he has some gas left in the tank come the fall? Maybe a light April and May will reduce the risk of a poor or absentee July or August.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nick says:

      I think this is something to consider. Duensing shouldn’t be pushed over ~180 IP, so Slowey could help in that regard. Not to mention that both Baker and Blackburn are coming off injury. Between those 4 (Slowey, Baker, Blackburn and Duensing) they should cover 3 rotation spots worth of starts, or ~95 games.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Luke in MN says:

    Nice article. He retains a fair amount of value to the Twins since he’s going to be filling a void in the bullpen and he will be the guy to get the call when one of the other 5 starters inevitably go down. But there does seem to be a trade opportunity there since I think the org would like to see Kyle Gibson get his chance sometime in 2011.

    I’d imagine the Twins are looking for bullpen help as a part of any trade. San Diego might be a good fit since PETCO would suit his game, he’d be their 3rd-best starter, and they have loads of great bullpen arms.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Disco says:

    As a Yankees fan I’m torn.

    I really like him and he would be better than Colon/Garcia.

    BUT, I would imagine NYS would hurt his numbers a little more, considering the power happy teams in the AL East. Factor in who we might need to give up to get him and I’m not sure it’s worth it since he’s probably only a “#3″ SP at best. I know the Twins have little leverage if he didn’t make their rotation, but I wouldn’t give any of our more prominent prospects for him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Disco says:

      Maybe a Joba/Slowey trade straight up works, and Slowey would hold more value as an average SP than Joba the RP, but I still have this hope that in 2-3 years the Yankees stretch Joba back out to the rotation when Burnett is gone and Joba is more mature.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Luke in MN says:

        As a Twins fan I’d say that’s not crazy. But you’re also right that Yankee Stadium doesn’t play to Slowey’s strengths.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • adohaj says:

        I think I’d disown Bill Smith if he traded for Joba. I don’t even care what the numbers say Joba just pisses me off.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • fredsbank says:

      the only twins pitcher the yankees want anything to do with rhymes with giriano

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. The question isn’t why the Twins are putting one of their starters in the bullpen, it’s why Slowey. Like was said before, the Twins NEED a backup starter around, and Kyle Gibson is not it (yet). Blackburn is a poorer starter, but for what BS tossed at him in the 2-yr extension, Blac_burn’s going to be starting. Much as I love Slowey, he’ll be okay, and he’ll get his chances to start this year.

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • adjacent says:

      Gardy gave a hint today, and according to what he said, Blackburn and Baker still require longer warm ups after their surgery, while Slowey can get ready faster (oxymoron). I don’t know if that is totally true but that it what he said to a local newspaper.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • NordEastMPLSTwinsFan says:

      I like Slowey a lot as well. Who knows, he might shine in the pen. He might start throwing a little harder knowing that he doesn’t have to be out there for 7 innings. From what I’ve read, his fastball is up to 93 mph when he has been pitching in relief.

      Maybe this ends up being just the thing that the Twins’ bullpen and Kevin Slowey need?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Rob says:

    I’d love for the Cubs to pick up Slowey. Can’t be worse than Silva, and Cashner may not have the stamina to get deep into ballgames. Besides, if Slowey gets extremely lucky and the wind is blowing in at Wrigley in all of his starts this year? Cy Young, here we come.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Eric Cioe says:

    Blac_burn … amazing. I’m stealing that one for sure.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Tasintango says:

    Having six starters is not a bad thing when you know at least one will get injured during the year. Why he isn’t among the first five is the question,not why hasn’t some other team traded for him. It’s good to have pitching depth. It is a long season.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. wobatus says:

    Maybe no one has swooped in with an offer enough to the twins liking to make them give up starting depth.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. B N says:

    I’m kind of shocked that people don’t seem to be mentioning Slowey’s slew of injuries last year.

    I mean, if you ignore injuries, couldn’t you make basically the same argument for “Why isn’t Joba Chamberlain starting for the Yankees, anyways?” I mean, he IS a better pitcher than some of the rotation options, right? Phones should be blowing up in Cashman’s office! It’s an injustice! (Not)

    Isn’t there a solid possibility that they’ve put Slowey in a relief role because they are trying to limit his innings? This is a guy who broke down repeatedly last year. If I had health concerns on him, as they might, I think it would be very reasonable for them to put him in a longman role with occaisional starting. That way, if/when you reach the postseason, maybe his arm is actually still working.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Brian says:

    It will work itself out. Someone will get hurt or struggle. Doesn’t the average team use something like 9-10 starters a year?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TonyAngelo says:

      Exactly. It’s not like because he’s not in the rotation to start the season doesn’t mean he won’t be in it to finish the season. Or on the DL.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Craig says:

    I don’t know what the Twins are going to do, but:

    1. Slowey is insurance against one of the other starters going down. They know he can step up and do that job, and “knowing” is valuable.

    2. What would they trade him for – a relief pitcher? Why would you make that move when KS is pretty much what you need in the pen, long relief to get you through the seventh inning and get to Mijares/Capps/Nathan. And they don’t need prospects, they are trying to win now.

    3.He is one of “their guys” and the Twins love their guys.

    4. Yes, they have Kyle Gibson coming up, probably this year, but he has yet to pitch in the Show and is still too much of an unknown. He will _probably_ be better than Slowey, but you don’t know that for sure yet.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • drivlikejehu says:

      With respect to #3, that’s not really true. Gardenhire at least doesn’t like Slowey because he’s too smart.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • HatsOffToUs says:

        Very true. Gardy has grumbled very publicly about Slowey and his slow work rate, but we all know Slowey is a smartmouth and not a Gardy Good Ol Boy. He’s been in the doghouse many times.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. toby says:

    The crazy part is, even if Professor Gardenhire’s gut is coincidentally correct and Nick Blackburn can get back to not walking anybody and missing an occasional bat and thereby be fairly effective, he’s STILL not gonna have overmuch trade value given his contract and ceiling.

    Whereas if Kevin Slowey has 4 good April starts, he could bring a very nice return. As it is, you diminish his value while you probably cost yourself pitching runs.

    It would be baffling if it weren’t the Twins and we didn’t have the knowledge that Blackburn is a Gardenhire pet. Instead it’s just infuriating.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • John says:

      Blackburn is untradeable w/ his contract. It is either consider him a sunk cost and stick him in the pen/AAA, eat a bunch of his contract so you can trade him, or give him a shot to get back to being a decent end of rotation guy. Why not give him a shot and if he fails,you then stick Gibson into his spot?

      Slowey can bring something of value in return and is expendable because of Gibson in the minors. Slowey’s value to the Twins is lowered because their OF defense sucks. Young/Cuddyer/Kubel will not be running down many pop flies.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Barkey Walker says:

        The Twins didn’t miss a single pop fly in 2010… just say’n. Now fly balls… Kubel is a DH for a reason, and Young would be one if there were room.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • toby says:

        You are correct, obviously, re: Blackburn being currently untradeable. That’s what I implied, I thought, when I said EVEN if he succeeds this year his contract and ceiling will still keep him from bringing much of anything in a trade.

        To me the only way this actually makes sense is if the Twins are actually prepared to write Blackburn off relatively quickly if he fails again. Unfortunately, I think they have real faith in him, he’ll have a loooooong leash, and Slowey will only get a chance if there’s an injury (or if Duensing sucks, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility).

        The thing is, IF they have real faith in Blackburn, THEN it makes sense for them to start Slowey now in order to maximize his trade value. Even with Blackburn-faith, they can’t believe they’re actually lose marginal wins showcase-starting Slowey over Blackburn. Or can they?

        OTOH, if they truly don’t believe they need anything at any level of the system and they have Blackburn-faith, do what they do. Who knew the Twins were so perfectly fixed at every position and had such an unrivaled minor league system?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. nickjp says:

    I have a question regarding FIP, the constant is not adjusted for anything for individual pitchers, correct? So, for example, two NL pitchers should have the same constant added to the raw formula of:


    However, when looking at certain FIPs, I am having trouble reconciling the constant.

    For example, Stephen Strasburg had a FIP of 2.08 last year, so to find the constant, I calculated the “raw” number:

    ((13*5)+(3*(17+0-0))-(2*92))/68 = -1

    This implies the constant was 3.08

    However, if we apply that same formula to Brandon Lyon:

    ((13*2)+(3*(31+3-12))-(2*54))/78 = -0.205

    If we add the constant derived from Strasburg, that would make Lyon’s FIP 2.87 but Fangraphs has his FIP at 3.34, which implies a constant of 3.55.

    Are these park-adjusted or something else that isn’t specified somewhere because it seems like this is a significant difference?

    Thanks for anyone’s help in advance.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. fredsbank says:

    isn’t ian kennedy the dbacks opening day starter?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. catsanddogsrace says:


    -11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Peter Gentleman says:

    Twins’ best 4 starters are: Liriano, Pavano, Baker, Slowey. Who are the two guys ahead of Slowey (one of them ahead of Baker??) on the depth chart?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Barkey Walker says:

      Duensing and Blackburn. Not so sure I’d put Baker and Slowey before Duensing.

      Duensing had an awesome year last year, throwing 8 quality starts of 10 total starts, including throwing 2 innings of relief between two of those starts. His peripherals aren’t so good (low K rate). In July when he was given the starter role FG predicted he would be a 4.5 ERA starter. Obviously, he bested that. Before Spring training, he was again predicted to be the same (based on FIP, reversion). He has a 1.59 ERA in 17 IP.

      When it comes to pitchers in spring training, a lot of it could be based on what they see on the field that does not make it into the stats. Is the motion still there? is it late enough? Is the control still there? What do the team’s batters say about them?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. JfW says:

    I’m sure the Twins want to keep Slowey to delay Bromberg’s or Gibson’s arbitration clock, or just in case someone gets hurt.

    Problem with the Twins thinking is Slowey’s more likely to see more substantion action because the wheels come off Duensing or Blackburn

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Slowey will be the Twins’ #3 starter by seasons end
    Coming up through the minors I thought Slowey had a real legit claim as a #2 starter and possibly the next (or closest thing) to Brad Radke, obviously those labels and #2 starter have diminished But i still think he’s a legit #3 or strong #4 when 100% healthy…

    His ave. fastball will be between 89.5 – 90.0 MPH he’ll hit 91 -92 more than ever and he will be a beast in Target Field( yes, even with Delmon Y playing LF defense)
    He’s finally 99%-100% healthy this year again
    I like Slowey more than Duensing, more than Blackburn and in all likelihood more than Baker & AFTER this year even Pavano…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Sean says:

      There’s no way a guy who averages 5.5 IP per start is going to be considered a #2 or #3. Slowey’s a good pitcher, but any starter that tops out at 160-170 IP over a full season of starts is going to be at the end of your rotation.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Damage Jackall says:

    Funny – Slowey would be the opening day starter for the Royals, and arguablly also for the Dbacks, Pirates and the Santana-less Mets… Come on Dayton Moore pleaaaaasseeee don’t let Luke Hochevar be the Royals #1 starter.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Mike says:

    How about mentioning how Slowey had 9 quality starts to 19 non quality starts last year. He also averages not even six innings a start over his career.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Jason says:

    One of those AL West teams should be trading a reliever for this guy. Anaheim has a deep pen…(and Scottie K as a 4th starter)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. Jeroms Irony says:

    He is a good hitter too. Ship him to the NL and maybe the # quality starts won’t be as significant.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. Tom Moore says:

    am a twins fan and follow the team pretty well. some points from a guy who watches, listens and reads too much about his local team:

    slowey’s fly ball rate is high, for sure. but he’s a pitcher, like radke and maddux (am NOT comparing him to maddux ability-wise, just style-wise) who gets hitters to just be a little bit off. so, they try to pull a fastball and slowey took a little off it, or threw a variation that tails in instead of out. so, he gets a lot of fly ball outs that aren’t in danger of being a home run or extra-base hit in ANY park.

    someone mentioned blackburn. blackburn WAS awful last year, and everyone involved says he had an elbow thing most of the year that meant he couldn’t throw his slider. and now he has his slider back and they are confident that, if he stays healthy, that he’ll be a solid number four starter. stats are one thing, but pitching coaches watch guys day-to-day and year-to-year. the stuff just wasn’t there last year for blackburn, and they think it’s there this year. will see.

    lastly, i do expect the twins to part with a starting pitcher. it might be slowey, or it might be scott baker or even, if he is pitching o.k, liriano (i don’t get the sense that the twins want to sign him long-term). but they will wait until either, one, they are ready to bring up kyle gibson from AAA (after the super-two deadline, of course) or closer to the trading deadline when teams are unloading better players and the twins have a better idea of needs (injuries, playoff positioning, etc).

    they’ve added solid players each of the past two seasons at or after the deadline. so, they’ll probably keep all six starters (and kyle gibson, the seventh in AAA) until Gibson comes up in June and maybe until the trade deadline (as buyers, probably, but maybe even as sellers, which might change which starter they are unloading).

    could go on and on, but my day job awaits…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. VodkaDave says:

    I know a certain 6th best franchise in baseball that could use an extra arm or two ;)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Ian says:

    Slowey isn’t starting b/c he can’t pitch past the 5th inning (he avg 5.1 ip last year). He taxes bullpens. Blackburn, who was horrible last year, still managed to give the team quality starts in 60% of his starts, which is actually a very good rate. Slowey was 4th worst in baseball, managing only one quality start every three games. You can say it’s not Slowey’s fault (if you want), that his defense keeps innings going longer where Blackburn gets bailed out by the defense but from the team’s perspective, they want the pitcher that keeps them in the game. QS are really underrated (or not valued properly) and have been a real secret in the Twins success over this decade.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. thrylos98 says:

    Why is the average IP per game mentioned as a quasi-meaningful argument? It is manager’s decision. Period. Look at the real numbers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  36. Aaron says:

    Tell you what I’m gonna do for you. I’ll let you have Fernando Rodney (proven closer!!!1!) And as if that wasn’t enough, I’ll even throw in Scotty Kazmir for freeeee!! He was an all-star you know. Now that’s a deal!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  37. Kanonen80 says:

    First off, I see ZERO reason for the Twins to trade Slowey. The main question-mark this off-season has been their bullpen. Even so, they already had 82 guys in camp that had decent arms. They even liked their Rule 5 draft guy Scott Diamond so much that they traded their 15th ranked prospect (BA) to stash him since they had no room for him. Only a top RP would make sense, and not many teams who need a starter will give up a bullpen anchor for a guy who’s stuff and control have decline after breaking his throwing wrist.

    As for Blackburn over Slowey in the rotation: I think KS in the pen and B-Burn in the rotation is playing to both of their strengths. Pitch-to-contact guys usually aren’t good bullpen options since you’ll want to go to them when guys are on base. Likewise, Slowey can come in with guys on base and miss bats. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Slowey turns into the second coming of Matt Guerrier.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  38. Rob S says:

    Slowey is a great guy and a very good tract record the last four years. However, he is caught in a buzz saw with GM Bill Smith and Gardy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  39. wat says:

    But Kevin Slowey is not good at baseball…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>