Slowey should throw Twins a bone to exit doghouse

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 13, 2011 - 10:16 PM

Making a below-value trade for the righthander would damage a club that will need a starter, if not this month by next April.

hide

Kevin Slowey

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Glen Perkins filed a grievance against the Twins at the end of the 2009, claiming the team had shorted him on big-league service time. The claim was the Twins had optioned him to Class AAA Rochester in late August, rather than making it a rehab assignment based on what Perkins said had been an ailing left shoulder.

The Twins and Perkins reached a settlement in mid-November, where the pitcher received some of the lost service time, but not enough to enable him to take the team to arbitration.

Perkins had a reputation for obstinacy that tested a few relationships in the organization. And now this -- a disagreement over an injury, followed by a grievance -- created a strong vibe in the media that Perkins was at the end of the road with his home-state team.

That vibe became stronger in late January when the Star Tribune's Joe Christensen interviewed Perkins and the pitcher said he "found out the hard way" about the business side of baseball during the service-time dispute.

This added to the irritation of manager Ron Gardenhire, which he made clear to reporters in Fort Myers, Fla., even before Perkins had reported to spring training.

That was on Feb. 19, 2010. And now, 17 months later, the Twins open the post-All-Star Game portion of the season and there's no pitcher the team's followers are more optimistic to see on the mound than Perkins, a 28-year-old lefty with a 1.87 ERA in 35 relief appearances.

There is a current situation with the Twins similar to the Perkins' case. The fellow in the doghouse with a lot of people in the organization is Kevin Slowey, a 27-year-old righthander with a .650 winning percentage (39-21) in 82 starts in the big leagues.

Slowey has pitched in only six games and totaled 14 2/3 innings for the Twins this season. He was on the disabled list from April 9 to May 7 because of a sore shoulder. He went back on the DL because of an abdominal strain on May 25 and is now with Class AAA Rochester, completing a rehab assignment.

Asked about Slowey on Wednesday, Twins General Manager Bill Smith said: "We're just trying to get him healthy and ready to go. He threw 71 pitches and went 4 2/3 innings last time out. He's pitching again Friday, and this time it's a full-go start."

And then what?

"I think we're all on the same page -- the player, the manager, the pitching coach, the organization -- that he's not a bullpen guy," Smith said. "And one of our challenges is we have five starters that have pitched very well."

Another challenge is that righthander Anthony Swarzak has done well in making four spot starts. "And he also can pitch out of the bullpen," Smith said.

On the surface, it would appear Slowey is dead-ended in the organization. He said as much in an interview last week with Sloane Martin at rochesterbaseballobserver.com.

Slowey said he had reached a consensus with Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson that "the right thing to do would be to find a place for me to start," and added: "I've proven to be successful there. I want nothing more than to succeed for the team I'm on, in whatever capacity it is."

In Slowey-speak, whatever capacity means starting, and Slowey doesn't see Rochester as the team he will be assisting. He wants a trade.

Which brings up this challenge: Does Smith really want to trade a 27-year-old starting pitcher at his lowest value?

OK, he has balked at pitching out of the bullpen. He's a know-it-all in the clubhouse. His condescending manner agitates media members who choose not to laugh at such things.

And, yet, here's a club with Scott Baker's right elbow acting up, and with Francisco Liriano likely to be traded this winter, and with Nick Blackburn's sinker rising lately.

Making a below-value trade for Slowey would damage a club that will need a starter, if not this month by next April.

There was a moment in Fort Myers this spring when Perkins went to Gardenhire and said, "This is where I want to pitch," and it became a beautiful friendship.

Slowey could become the new Perky. This doesn't have to be Dayton vs. the GOP. Slowey vs. the Twins could be fixed with one kumbaya moment in the manager's office, and everybody would be better off.

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500ESPN. preusse@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How confident are you the Twins will improve in 2015?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close