I'll be honest: I'm not sure where I stand on Kevin Slowey right now. Do I think the Twins would be selling low if they shipped him off now? Yes. Do I think he can be an effective Major League pitcher? Yes. Can he be that effective pitcher, right now, for the Minnesota Twins? I'm not sure, but I doubt it.
In four starts with the Rochester Red Wings his results have been up and down, but it's not as though he's been bad. Overall he's allowed 22 hits in 19 innings, while striking out only 12 but impressing with his command with just three walks. Big innings seem to sink otherwise decent starts. Of the ten runs he's allowed, five came in one inning and three in another. While you certainly can't discount those two innings, it's more important to look at the body of work. And generally, the body of work (all 19 innings of it) hasn't been that bad.
Slowey's reputation for pinpoint control has seemingly stayed with at least a few other teams. Last week we heard that both the Rockies and Pirates had at least some level of interest in Kevin, and while we've since heard that Pittsburgh actually isn't interested in the right hander, the Orioles have been scouting the Twins recently, too.
To be fully accurate, the Twins and Orioles are apparently scouting each other. One of the very first Twins related rumors we heard this season involved the front office telling the Star Tribune that they'd be interested in upgrading their bullpen, and this off-season we did pick Koji Uehara as a potential target for the Twins. It seems that, according to Connelly at least, that Minnesota is indeed interested in the shut-down set-up man.
#19 / Pitcher / Baltimore Orioles
Apr 03, 1975
|2011 - Koji Uehara
Most interesting in that last link is that the Twins believe Gibson is wearing down a bit. It's not too much of a surprise, considering he threw 152 minor league innings for the Twins last summer after being drafted and has now accumulated another 95 innings this season. It takes time to build long-term stamina after collegiate and prep length seasons. Christensen goes so far as to speculate that, as a result, Gibson won't make his debut in Minnesota this year after all.
That fact might be what keeps Slowey in Minnesota. While the Twins are in need of relief help, and starting pitching is a place of relative depth, pitchers who are Major League ready are few and far between. A healthy Slowey with something to prove might be just what the doctor ordered.