December 9, 2011
Twins Notes: Slowey, Turpen, Doyle, Hunt, Popham, Florimon, and Cuddyer
• Kevin Slowey and the Twins have been headed for divorce since they demoted him from the rotation in favor of Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn during spring training and he reacted poorly to the idea of becoming a reliever. He lasted much longer than I ever expected, making it through the season with a team that grew to despise him, but the two sides finally parted ways as the Twins traded him to the Rockies for a marginal reliever prospect in Daniel Turpen.
Slowey absolutely deserves plenty of criticism, both for his attitude and performance, but the Twins also created the ugly situation by dumping a 27-year-old career-long starter with a 4.41 ERA from the rotation and trying to force him into a role he was unwilling or unable to accept. Duensing and Blackburn combined for a 4.87 ERA in 54 starts while Slowey's stock plummeted so far that the Twins dumped him for a reliever who won't crack my top 40 prospects list.
No one should come off looking good, yet the local media focused on portraying Slowey in the worst possible light while freeing the Twins of any responsibility. He was ripped for refusing to accept an understandably upsetting demotion and for supposedly faking arm issues, and once it became clear the Twins no longer wanted anything to do with Slowey the criticism became absurdly personal. Following the trade, Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan wrote:
Slowey, we hardly knew ye. Oh, wait, yes we did. That's why Twins traded the jerk for a boiled hot dog and a used spit cup.
Terry Ryan made the deal of winter meetings. Traded Slowey for a human.
That's just the culmination of his season-long bashing and while Souhan is the most extreme example he was hardly alone. I'm not defending Slowey's pitching or behavior, but the media coverage was laughably one-sided and the personal attacks were both pathetic and plentiful. Slowey showed how not to handle a demotion, the Twins showed how to squander an asset, and the local media showed how willing they are to rip a guy to shreds if given the go-ahead.
• In trading Slowey to the Rockies the Twins sent him to the worst possible place for a fly-ball pitcher and calling Coors Field home makes it far less likely he'll come back to haunt them. In a neutral environment Slowey remains capable of throwing 150-175 innings with a 4.50 ERA and great strikeout-to-walk ratios, but the odds are heavily stacked against a control pitcher with a high-80s fastball and one of the highest fly-ball rates in baseball thriving at altitude.
Colorado targeting Slowey is weird, but the Rockies probably just saw a 27-year-old formerly decent mid-rotation starter under team control at reasonable salaries for two more years and figured why not pick him up for pennies on the dollar. Turpen was revealed as the player to be named later immediately after the Rule 5 draft was completed and the brief delay was due to the Twins not wanting to protect him from being selected by placing him on the 40-man roster.
Turpen was actually picked by the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft last winter, but didn't stick and is now with his fifth organization in five seasons. He spent this year at Double-A, where the side-arming righty threw 60 innings with a 4.82 ERA and more walks (35) than strikeouts (33). Turpen's previous track record was somewhat better and he's a ground-ball pitcher with good velocity, but as a 25-year-old reliever yet to reach Triple-A he's a long shot to be useful.
• With the No. 2 pick in the Rule 5 draft the Twins selected right-hander Terry Doyle from the White Sox. Doyle's strong performance in the Arizona Fall League got the Twins' attention, but that involved just eight starts and he split the regular season between Single-A and Double-A despite being a 25-year-old drafted out of college in 2007. He fits the Twins' mold with good control and a low-90s fastball, throwing 173 innings with a 3.07 ERA and 122/33 K/BB ratio.
Rule 5 picks must remain in the majors all season or be offered back to the original team. Last year the Twins took Scott Diamond from the Braves and rather than keep him on the roster traded former second-round pick Billy Bullock for the ability to stash him in the minors. I hated the move, as Bullock had far more upside as a hard-throwing reliever with big strikeout totals, and the Twins ended up promoting Diamond to the majors in July anyway.
Presumably by passing on various higher-upside arms to take Doyle with the No. 2 pick they're willing to simply keep him in the majors as a long reliever and mop-up man. Vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff told John Manuel of Baseball America that the Twins think Doyle "has got the ability to be a fourth or fifth starter" with velocity that ranges from "marginal" to "average." Not exactly what I'd target atop the Rule 5 draft, but he's not without potential.
• Despite leaving some decent prospects unprotected the Twins lost no one in the big-league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Shooter Hunt was taken by St. Louis in the minor-league phase, but the 2008 first-round pick's complete inability to throw strikes took him off the prospect radar long ago. Hunt once projected as a potential top-of-the-rotation starter, but he's yet to move beyond Single-A and has a 6.85 ERA with 236 walks in 193 career innings.
They also selected right-hander Marty Popham from the Indians in the minor-league phase and unlike Doyle he can remain in the minors. Popham is another strike-thrower with low-90s velocity and the former 20th-round pick tossed 112 innings with a 4.58 ERA and 106/25 K/BB ratio between high Single-A and Double-A as a 23-year-old. Major-league Rule 5 picks rarely pan out and minor-league Rule 5 picks almost never pan out, so he's likely just Triple-A depth.
• Baltimore trimmed Pedro Florimon from the 40-man roster after an abbreviated September call-up and the Twins claimed the 24-year-old shortstop off waivers. Prior to making his debut Florimon spent the year hitting .267/.344/.396 in 133 games at Double-A. Those numbers are mediocre enough for any 24-year-old at Double-A, but also include a poor 114-to-51 strikeout-to-walk ratio and actually represent the best performance of Florimon's six-season career.
In other words he can't hit, but Florimon has a reputation as a good defensive shortstop and the other middle infielders on the 40-man roster were Jamey Carroll, Alexi Casilla, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Trevor Plouffe, and Luke Hughes. There isn't a standout defensive shortstop in the bunch and even "middle infielder" is a stretch in some cases, so for now at least a good-glove, no-hit guy is worth adding to stash in the minors even if Florimon's upside is utility man.
• It sounds like the Twins' primary competition for Michael Cuddyer is the Rockies, so he might be reunited with Slowey if they top the Twins' reported three-year, $25 million offer.
• Old friend Jose Morales signed a minor-league contract with the Pirates. Morales was traded to the Rockies last offseason when the Twins opted for Drew Butera as their backup catcher and ended up missing most of the season with a broken thumb.
• I'm assuming ESPN.com chose this picture to accompany Jerry Crasnick's article about Terry Ryan because it features a Phil Mackey cameo.
• Speaking of which, Twins baseball communications manager Dustin Morse shared a photo of Mackey, John Shipley, and Rhett Bollinger grilling Ron Gardenhire at the winter meetings.
• Dan Szymborski released his annual ZiPS projections over at Baseball Think Factory and the Twins' numbers ... well, they aren't pretty.
• This week's podcast features lots of talk about Cuddyer, Slowey, Matt Capps, Jason Kubel, and the winter meetings, plus various other beer-fueled randomness, so give it a listen.
I find it astonishing how much assets the Twins have let go the past few years….
Comment by Steve J — December 8, 2011 @ 11:45 pm
regarding the slowey issue, i agree with you completely.
i will throw in my own 2-cents’ worth—at a time when maturity and character could have been very useful, grown men teed off on a 20-something kid. even if that kid was cocky and despised, the mature and professional approach would have been to let him be and carry on (and it would have netted a larger return than a career minor-league pitcher). congratulations manager of the year gardenhire and the “professional” journalists in the local media.
Comment by jfs — December 8, 2011 @ 11:55 pm
just another pearl of wisdom regarding slowey: why shouldn’t a young pitcher have considerable input on decisions regarding his rotation/bullpen assignments? hell, it’s his career which is on the line.
Comment by jfs — December 9, 2011 @ 12:26 am
Tasking DickBert with a great deal of the Slowey bashing gave fans some insight in regard to the teams classlessness. Souhan is not the only jerk on this one.
Comment by Dirleton — December 9, 2011 @ 12:58 am
Tasking DickBert with a great deal of the Slowey bashing gave fans some insight in regard to the teams classlessness. Souhan is not the only jerk on this one.
Completely true. I used to think the Twins had some class. Hmm… I’ve changed my tune in the last several years.
I’ve always regarded Dick & Bert as annoying idiots, which is why I never have TV commentary on. They’re just mouthpieces for the team line – and mediocre commentators as well.
Souhan is just a gigantic tool. Not only does he know nothing about baseball despite covering it for several decades, he thinks he’s a genius.
Love the podcasts, Aaron.
Comment by Son of Shane Mack — December 9, 2011 @ 1:07 am
It’ll be a long, long time before we see another Twins player make a reference to Sisyphus in a postgame quote blurb or make a deadpan, monotone statement about how excited he apparently is about reaching the playoffs while simultaneously pouring a beer on Robby Incmikoski’s head. That’s why I’ll miss Kevin Slowey.
Comment by DK — December 9, 2011 @ 2:44 am
Aaron wrote: “…the media coverage was laughably one-sided and the personal attacks were both pathetic and plentiful.” Substitute “fan reaction” for “media coverage” and he could have been talking about Matt Capps.
Forgive the soap box I’m about to ascend, but after reading the comments in this and so many other threads, I’m struck and saddened by how angry and hyper-critical we have become. (And I’m not talking just about sports fans.) Measured criticism of a reasoned, constructive nature—on those few occasions it is even expressed any more—is drowned out by the tide of vitriol that engulfs us. Everything is over the top and black and white; nothing is modulated or in shades of gray. And because we’re screaming at each other all the time, no one pays any attention, prompting us to scream even louder. Despite its reputation, well earned over decades, of being one of baseball’s classiest and most caring franchises—“family” is the word one hears most often in connection with it—suddenly, the organization has become brutal and draconian. Much of what I’ve read would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad—sad because it reflects more on the mindset of, and perhaps fear and pain felt by, those who write it than on the individuals and organizations about which they write.
Comment by David — December 9, 2011 @ 6:54 am
I’m no fan of Slowey’s, but members of the Twin Cities sports media (and especially the west-of-the-river newspaper guys) have for many years been too comfortably close to the Twins organization. Something to do with parking lots by the Metrodome. It’s no wonder which side of the story Souhan chooses to ignore.
Comment by Matt — December 9, 2011 @ 8:28 am
It seems to me that the internet has done for sports fans what free agency did for players. It has given them a voice and “power”. Do the masses get a little drunk on that power and become vitriolic at times? Of course we do.
But compare that to the days in which we were simply spoon fed everything that “professional journalists” told us without any opportunity to respond or question. And look at how LITTLE information you actually get — and worse yet, how little true analysis you get — from many of the traditional news sources.
The Twins cling to the “old days” where they controlled the information flow. They act “surprised” when players find out about their status on Twitter …. and perhaps they are surprised but they need to come to grips with the current realities of information dissemination (and rumor dissemination too).
It the new world perfect? Of course not. But teams that want to take advantage of fans’ passions by selling them tickets and jerseys and beer and cable subscriptions also need to accept that fans will voice their opinions — and there will be times (perhaps many) when the team doesn’t LIKE those opinions or the passion with which they are expressed.
Comment by JB_Iowa — December 9, 2011 @ 8:48 am
Wow. I find it really odd the number of people who’ve come to Slowey’s defense in the trade’s aftermath.
I’m no fan of the Twins’ moves this year. I’m angry at the cut in payroll. I’m angry that they seem to be spinning their wheels in terms of roster movement. I’m angry that they don’t appear to be willing to add a decent starter and a couple of decent relievers.
But the Slowey thing is hardly a bad move on the Twins’ part. Consider this: If your boss came to you right now and said, “Look, we need you to switch jobs, because we have enough people who do your job right now, and we really need you to do this other job for our company to run effectively.” And then you said, “Screw you, I’m not going to do it.” What do you think your boss would do?
Or then, if your boss made you do that, anyway, and you pissed and moaned about it for weeks and refused to be available when necessary, what would happen? In most places, you’d be fired at that point. This would be notably true if you were due a contractually obligated big raise.
That’s what happened with Slowey. His actions last year contributed to an ugly situation last year. Could the Twins have handled things differently? Sure. But remember: The Twins had a deal for Slowey lined up last year, but because he refused to make himself available as often as needed, the trade fell through.
The Twins don’t need any more of that crap, and frankly as a fan I don’t want to read about it any longer.
Comment by mazeville — December 9, 2011 @ 9:00 am
Look, Souhan is the biggest hack writing in the area today; he makes SID look professional. And the “trash Slowey” meme the MSM was working off of was classless.
That said, let’s not pretend Slowey is more of an asset than he is. He’s a back of the rotation starter at best, a guy who can’t get out of the 6th inning. He’s posted an ERA+ over 100 exactly once in his career. He’s had injury issues. He’s eminently hittable the second & third trips through the order (career ERA over 6 in the 5th & 6th innings?).
That kind of player should be pretty replaceable. Tack on him being an apparent jackhole, his $3M arbitration-pending salary, and the fact that his performance has shown significant decline since his one good season in 2008…parting ways is a good idea. They didn’t get a lot for him, but he wasn’t worth a lot either.
And as to the idea that young players should have significant input as to their rotation/bullpen assignments: the inmates shouldn’t run the asylum. Players frequently think they’re better than they are. Jacque Jones thought he could hit lefties. Kevin Slowey thinks he’s a good MLB starter. It’s the job of the manager to put players in situations where they can succeed, and after seeing Slowey fail to pitch deep into games the Twins staff thought he might have better luck in the bullpen. It wasn’t a crazy idea, seeing how hard Slowey got whacked by hitters the second & third time he faced them as a starter, that he might do better in a role where he only had to face them once.
Comment by Josh — December 9, 2011 @ 9:01 am
Hope the bag of baseballs we also got in return are at least humidified
Comment by mattyballgame — December 9, 2011 @ 9:21 am
and remember everyone, the Twins have more than enough starting pitching so getting rid of a 3-5 starter is a luxury they can afford.
Mazeville, If my boss told me he decided to demote me in favor of some inferior, idiotic ass kisser, I’d let him hear it, but I’d do it. Publicly I’d keep pretty quiet. Pretty sure that is what Slowey did.
The last thing, Slowey is a proven big league starter. What do those cost in free agency? A heck of a lot more than a non-prospect 25 year old relief AA pitcher. They screwed up and got nothing in return, same as Thome, same as Young and on and on. The Twins don’t understand the market place they are working in. Not saying they don’t know baseball, but they are operating in a business and there is more to baseball than baseball. They don’t get it.
Comment by spoof bonser — December 9, 2011 @ 9:49 am
If the Twins front office spent as much effort on fielding a quality team instead of running a pr machine and spin we’d be the world champs! No class!!
Check out Bert’s early career and all the crap he pulled yet he was the worst of the bunch. His actions were 10x worse and over a longer time frame. It’s sad that the local baseball media are now a bunch of lemmings.
Comment by Mike — December 9, 2011 @ 10:34 am
Spoof: Well, the issue is he DIDN’T do it. He didn’t keep quiet. And then when he went into the bullpen he complained and didn’t do his job well at all. The Twins needed him to do well in the bullpen, and he failed. He wouldn’t go out there two days in a row. He got “injured.” He complained to the press. And when he got his chance to start he lost every game and had an ERA well over 6. If one of my employees acted like he did he’d get fired. Period.
And by all means, let’s continue with this “proven big league starter” stuff. He has thrown over 100 innings exactly twice in his career. He’s had decent numbers, sure, but they don’t do the team any good on the DL.
I find it annoying that I have to defend the Twins in this, because I’ve hated this offseason with an absolute passion. But at least by getting rid of Slowey, they’re eliminating some of the intense negativity surrounding the team.
Another thing I find odd: Cuddyer gets lauded in blogs in large part because of his team-first attitude and willingness to do what it takes to help the team. Yet Slowey REFUSES to do these things and the Twins should let him do what he wants? Ridiculous.
Remember Glen Perkins. He had some ability. He whined. But eventually he sucked it up, pitched out of the bullpen, had an awesome year and now everybody wants him to close.
Comment by mazeville — December 9, 2011 @ 11:08 am
It seems quite obvious that the priority for the Front Office is to build up Rochester and then – and only then – fill up those few little holes which, when patched (twins’ bench) will once again bring our lads a division title …
Comment by bohemian club — December 9, 2011 @ 11:25 am
just curious why if the rockies sent huston to the padres for a player to be named later and we sent slowey to the rockies for a player to be named later. how far off were they from just swapping Huston and Slowey? Huston is not the answer by any means at closer but he has the ever so valued “experience” that terry ryan and gardy covet. then they could have gotten the draft pick for capps and saved a few million to spend elsewhere.
Comment by DerrtyNakee — December 9, 2011 @ 12:00 pm
If my boss came to my and told me that I was to be demoted, I would quit and go work for a competitor. Since Slowey isn’t eligible for free agency that isn’t an option. So your comparison is just ridiculous.
Comment by deathsinger — December 9, 2011 @ 12:03 pm
deathsinger: You must not be paying much attention to the job market right now. And if you were my employee, I’d let you leave and cheer when you did.
Go ahead and call that a demotion if you want, but he’s making the same amount of money, and if he did his job he’d have the opportunity to start again. When you have no choice, as Slowey doesn’t, then that’s what you do. It is a perfectly apt comparison.
Comment by mazeville — December 9, 2011 @ 12:26 pm
Mazeville also doesnt’ get it.
let’s just assume Slowey is the biggest jerk in Minnesota, who wore out his welcome and faked an injury. Let’s also assume he went public,which he didn’t, the team did through mouthpieces know as the strib (go ahead and prove me wrong). None of that matters.
What does matter? That the Twins traded a big league starter for NOTHING! Why? Because he had no value any more. Who’s fault is that? His, if everything we assume is true ……..and….The Twins. They held onto an asset and degraded it publicly until it was worth nothing.
Comment by spoof bonser — December 9, 2011 @ 1:05 pm
First off, the Twins didn’t trade him for nothing. They got a warm body in return, one who can throw a fastball in the high 90s (but will not likely make the majors). Total difference for reasons that will come to me eventually.
But what I want to know is what the Twins were supposed to do? Just shut up about the whole thing? How would they explain why Slowey doesn’t want to pitch on consecutive days? How would they explain that mysterious abdominal ailment he came down with?
Slowey kept getting injured last year, blowing any chance the Twins might have had to trade him.
And then, just when his health improved and the Twins inserted him into the lineup, he was awful. Godawful. He had a subzero WAR, and in eight starts he had an ERA of 7.75. He was eligible for arbitration, and would have received a raise. He HAD no value.
I hate defending the Twins on this, I really do. I’m not a rah-rah Twins guy. I’ll also concede that he really should have been a starter. I just think it’s odd that so many people are rushing to the defense of a player who has had one good season and a few mediocre ones and then one really bad one.
My argument has nothing to do with the Strib (I think Souhan is a moron). My argument has to do with the responsibility of a company employee.
When you have a bad attitude, when you refuse to do what is asked of you or you do it poorly or you complain a lot, every single employer would get pissed off. The Twins are no different. Could they have done a better job of keeping that out of the press? I guess, but I don’t see how that could have been avoided, not when there are reporters crawling around asking questions.
When you have a good attitude and you go out and do your job, you get rewarded. This is true whether you’re a fry cook at McDonald’s or a major league starting pitcher. Slowey’s responsibility to the Twins and to his own career was to take the damn ball when asked and throw it like everybody knows he can. He should have quit whining and realize that he plays a fricking game for a living and be glad he has a job. (And if he did have a good attitude about it, he would have been traded last year and would have started wherever he went; instead, he’s been sent to Colorado, which will be awful for his career.) It’s not like the Twins were asking him to clean grease traps or stand outside in the frigid December air holding “CLEARANCE! 80 PERCENT OFF!” signs or risk his life in any way.
The Twins simply needed to get him off the team. That’s been clear for months. I’m just glad they got that warm body.
Comment by mazeville — December 9, 2011 @ 1:45 pm
The article you linked quoted Slowey as saying “Who are we to say we can be contributors only as starters”
He tried being a releiever, told Gardehire the bullpen was tough for him and he didn’t think he could do it. Gardenhire brought to the Strib “And he told me [Saturday] he is having a hard time and doesn’t think he can do it.”
Sorry dude, call it what you want, that’s what happened. You can be happy they got a warm body for an MLB starter, they certainly are, but they screwed up. If they weren’t going to utilize him as a starter, which was clear in the srping 0f 2011 when they said Blackburn and Duensing were starters and the final spot was between Baker (what a joke!) and Slowey, then they should have traded him when he had some value.
They effed it up.
Comment by spoof bonser — December 9, 2011 @ 2:05 pm
“If they weren’t going to utilize him as a starter, which was clear in the srping 0f 2011 when they said Blackburn and Duensing were starters and the final spot was between Baker (what a joke!) and Slowey, then they should have traded him when he had some value.”
This would mean that the Twins had to be sure none of their other starters would be hurt, that Slowey would not be willing or able to pitch in relief, that Slowey would then go on to be unusable as trade bait at the trading deadline when teams are looking for help, and then would go on to pitch terribly at the end of the season to lower his value even further. All in advance.
Comment by sinking Liner — December 9, 2011 @ 2:32 pm
Any org that guarantees rotation slots to Duensing and Blackburn instead of Baker is an incompetent org. End of story.
Comment by Matt #3 — December 9, 2011 @ 2:44 pm
I’m baffled by the characterization of Slowey as a “proven” MLB starter. Why? Because he’s made 90 starts in the bigs? That mostly means he’s gotten some chances. Injuries and ineffectiveness make him a back of the rotation guy at best. BB/9 and KO/BB ratios are nice, but if you can’t marry them to a solid IP number then you’d better be able to pitch out of the pen. Slowey either couldn’t or wouldn’t or both.
He’s a below average pitcher who now costs $3M a year. I’m sorry we didn’t move him when he was worth more, and I’m sorry the Twins media treated him like he was the cause of all life’s ills, but I’m not going to pretend he was an impressive pitcher with some bright future. He isn’t and doesn’t.
Comment by Josh — December 9, 2011 @ 2:51 pm
The Twins, like any team in the majors, values starting pitching. Look, I’m no fan of the existing starters. I think whatever fairy dust Blackburn and Duensing have used in the past wore off bigtime last year. But the vast majority of teams would absolutely love to have six legitimate starters on their roster. Putting Slowey in the ‘pen was a perfectly legitimate thing for them to do.
Had he done his job at all the Twins would have traded him last year when they could have received more for him. He didn’t, and that put the team in a bad position, and has set his career back.
I’m 100 percent in favor of the Twins making deals when players are at their highest value. It’s why I strongly think the Twins should have traded Liriano when the Yankees came calling last spring (And I thought that last spring). It’s why I think they should have traded Johan Santana at least a half-year before they did. And it’s why I think they should have received more for Wilson Ramos than a reliever.
In this case, however, the Twins did themselves a favor by getting Slowey off the club and getting someone who at least has a small chance of making the majors.
The far bigger question is what the Twins do with Slowey’s spot in the rotation. Will they give it to Swarzak? That would absolutely suck. Will they go out and get someone who is more than a mediocre pitcher with the odd label of “innings eater?” I sure as hell hope so.
The Twins give us plenty to complain about. This is not one of those things.
Comment by mazeville — December 9, 2011 @ 3:11 pm
From the baseball think factory article:
“While one would think that the trade of Kevin Slowey was the start of the process, the Twins have also been operating under this ridiculous notion for more than a year that they have a starting pitcher surplus.”
Has someone told the Twins front office that they need real pitchers?
Comment by jake — December 9, 2011 @ 5:42 pm
So the Twins did themselves a favor by getting rid of a big-leaguer and picking up a middling minor leaguer. ok. Because we all know starting pitching isn’t worth 3 million a year.
Sorry, you can’t convince me that the Twins were smart in letting Slowey go at this juncture. Its like saying that bailing out of a car the second before it goes over a cliff, hindsight included, was smarter than steering to safety.
Um here’s the deal. They traded an MLB starting pitcher with excellent control for someone with hardly a chance to make any significant contribution, ever. The logic that someone is of no future value because they have struggled with injuries doesn’t hold water. See JJ Hardy.
If you don’t think he is a proven starter than we are arguing over word play. In Josh’s definition, the only proven starter on the Twins is Pavano and that has only been for the past two years, injury free, right?
If you don’t want to continue apologizing for the Twins, then stop doing it. Not all players should be let go at the height of their value, but if you hate their stupid face, Delmonzy or Slowey, then trade them when they have value. If you want to trade them for poop, then hold onto them until they lose all value.
Comment by spoofbonser — December 9, 2011 @ 8:57 pm
The Twins handled the Slowey situation poorly, but the bottom line is that Slowey’s place as a valuable Twin or as a valuable piece in a trade was in Slowey’s hands all year.
He effed it up.
Comment by sinking Liner — December 9, 2011 @ 9:19 pm
Aaron, explain why you think Florimon has a reputation as a good defensive shortstop … He committed 171 errors in minor league 6 seasons! Very, very bad.
Comment by Anthony S. — December 9, 2011 @ 9:52 pm
Regarding to Slowey: I think the biggest mistake of the Twins was not going with a clear plan to Spring training 2011. They said there would be a”competition” for the fifth spot. Well, if it was for that competition it should have gone to Slowey because he was the one who pitched better in Spring training. However, it went to Blackburn and Baker. Fine with that, but they lost the opportunity to train Slowey for the reliever role, which is very different than for the starting role. I think that if the training was different, he could have succeded. But he got injured in the second series of the season, and went down from there. The rest, all the bad mouthing, I don’t think anybody behaved well there, neither Slowey nor the Twins nor Souhan nor Bert. But the big damage was already done. And both the Twins and Slowey lost.
Comment by adjacent — December 10, 2011 @ 6:16 pm
What needs to be flat-out said here is that Slowey should have never gone to the bullpen. He did have injury issues, so transitioning him from the rotation to the bullpen was idiotic (especially if they were already considering trading him) and yielded a predictable result. Not only that, but Slowey is obviously better than Blackburn or Duensing as a starter. Even after last season’s late debacle (when Duensing also sucked and Blackburn was hurt), Slowey is better than those guys. The Twins obviously had something against him at the beginning of 2010 to put him behind Duensing and Blackburn (how they put Baker behind them is even more astonishing), and they handled this whole situation like complete jackasses.
The Twins got nothing for this deal, which is exactly what they deserved. They mismanaged Slowey and ruined his chances at success here. And don’t give me this crap about how they got a “warm body.” That’s a joke. I am a warm body. I also throw a 55 MPH fastball and can’t throw accurately. They got nothing.
And yes, the Huston Street trade makes all of this look even worse. If the Rockies were willing to dump Street to save money, sign me up. He’s not great but he would have at least saved the organization some face in this whole Slowey saga, and give me Street over Capps any day.
After Doumit and Carroll I had some hope for this team but Ryan looks like more of the same with this and the Capps deal and at this point it is all just getting pathetic. I just hope they trade Mauer to a contender soon so that he doesn’t get sucked into this horrible situation.
Comment by Sean — December 11, 2011 @ 12:38 am
@Spoofbonser: Did you really just call Kevin Slowey a #3 starter?
Comment by Katz — December 12, 2011 @ 5:52 pm