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Continued: Slama is a bullpen long shot but stays confident

“What would you call big-league stuff? A radar gun? No.” Ryan replied. “He’s an 88 mph guy. He’s a deceptive guy. The ball comes out of his shirt. I don’t care how hard a guy throws, nobody cares, as long as he gets people out. And he has shown that ability. When he’s been healthy, he’s put up impressive numbers.”

Slama gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning on Feb. 24 in his first spring outing. He came back four days later with a scoreless inning and could pitch Tuesday when the Twins play host to the Rays. The Twins have a core of relievers returning from last season. Newcomers Tim Wood and Josh Roenicke are out of options. Rule 5 pick Ryan Pressly has to stay on the major league roster.

It could be tough for Slama to break through again. If he can’t get a long look this season, he’ll be a free agent at the end of the year.

“Overcoming things isn’t something that I’m afraid to do,” Slama said. “I kind of like being the underdog. trying to prove myself.’’

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