Slowey sent packing

The Twins have traded right-handed pitcher Kevin Slowey to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later. The 27-year-old Slowey was a Twins second round pick in 2005 and made his major league debut in Oakland against the A’s on June 1, 2007 in a no decision start.

Slowey has been with the Twins for 5 years and has appeared in 100 games, 90 of them starts and he has a career mark of 39-29 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Slowey has had good control as shown by his 84 bases on ball in 532 innings but he has also given up 84 long balls. Durability however; is not Slowey’s long suit as evidenced by his five trips to the DL in five years and he has never thrown as many as 161 innings in any big league season.

In the spring of 2011 Slowey lost out in the battle for the starting rotation and the Twins moved him to the bullpen. Between April 1st and May 20th Slowey appeared in relief 6 times and had a 4.91 ERA. Slowey complained publicly that he was not suited for the bullpen and that his arm hurt and the Twins sent him out to rehab and then farmed him out to Rochester. Slowey was recalled later in the season and made 8 starts for the Twins and was the losing pitcher each time, giving up 36 runs in 45.2 innings.

But is wasn’t his poor pitching that sent Slowey packing, it was his attitude. The word was that Slowey had a reputation as a “club house lawyer” and that he was convinced that he knew the best way to pitch which did not endear him either to pitching coach Rick Anderson or manager Gardenhire. I don’t know if these reports are true or not but I can tell you that Kevin Slowey was very standoffish whenever I saw him during the past few years during spring training visits and he certainly did not go out of his way to interact with Twins fans.

I think that Terry Ryan was smart this month in saying publicly that Slowey was in his starting rotation plans for 2012 regardless if that was true or not. Personally I think that Slowey had burned too many bridges and Ryan was just trying to get as much as he could for Slowey. I sure would have liked the Twins to do better than a PTBNL for trading Slowey to the Rockies who had also expressed interest in Slowey last summer at the trade deadline. At least the Twins will get something versus just non-tendering him. The rumor has it that the Rockies are looking to move 3B/2B Ian Stewart who has been a disappointment in Colorado and that they were looking to get a couple of minor league pitchers in return. You would think the Twins would have very little to lose to have swung a deal that included Slowey for the 26-year-old left-handed hitting Stewart with good pop in his bat even if the Twins had to kick in something to sweeten the pot. It will be interesting to see what Slowey can do in the National league in Colorado.

UPDATE December 9 – The Twins announced yesterday that they have acquired right-handed pitcher Daniel Turpen from the Rockies as the player to be named later in the Kevin Slowey trade.

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