The Twins are reporting that Keven Slowey needs to pitch better than he has in his first two spring outings to make this team.
Assuming the first three spots are taken up with Baker, Bonser and Hernandez, that leaves the fourth spot for Liriano, whom the Twins expect to make the rotation out of spring training barring an unexpected setback. The fifth spot figured to be Slowey's to lose coming into camp. But if he doesn't pitch better, he will lose it to either Glen Perkins or Nick Blackburn.
Over at the Twins mlb.com site, Kelly Creamcakes is reporting that the coaching staff thinks he's overthrowing everything. "Right now, everything is blending in -- his changeup, his fastball and his breaking ball," Gardenhire said. "They all look the same."
This reminds me of what happened when he was first called up last year. He was too hopped up to be an effective finesse pitcher. Right now, he's probably too strong and trying too hard, which is his nemesis. If he relaxes and just lets it go, he can be effective. When he doesn't, he gets hammered.
My take is he doesn't have the secondary pitches to be consistently effective in the big leagues. He could use at least a half season to work on them, especially the change. I think both Perkins and Blackburn are ahead of him and one of the two will beat him out for the fifth spot in the rotation. If I had to choose, I would say Blackburn has the inside edge.