After I read a report that the Twins are planning on sending Kevin Slowey down to Triple-A Rochester to get some starts, my initial reaction was that it was a smart move by the Twins as he hasn’t gotten into many games at the major league level. But the more I read into it and thought about it, my reaction was “They are probably trying to build his arm back up and eventually trade him”. It has been known since Spring Training that Slowey is the pitcher the Twins would trade, if they were to trade one of their pitchers.
I have respect for Slowey as he has handled his move to the bullpen with grace and open arms. Some pitchers would fight the move, but he wanted to do what was best for the team. He has had some arm troubles this year and even made a trip the disabled list, but he is still working very hard at becoming a reliable bullpen arm. At the same time though, he rightfully deserves to be in the starting rotation. He has done all the Twins have asked of him and more. But he recently started to feel that maybe Minnesota isn’t the place to be, which is a shame as he is well liked here and a great clubhouse guy.
After winning 10 or more games in each of the previous three seasons, many thought he would be the Twins 4th or 5th starter, but with the off-season re-signing of Carl Pavano, there was going to be competition. Slowey even had a better Spring Training than Scott Baker, but the Twins decided Slowey would be more effective coming out of the bullpen rather than send him down to Triple-A.
It appears that he is going to end up in Rochester sooner than later to get him back into the routine of starting. This then brings up the question “Will the Twins eventually trade Slowey?”. I personally would like to see Slowey make a few starts at the major league level. I would move either Liriano or Duensing to the bullpen in the mean time. Especially now that Glen Perkins appears to be out for a few weeks, we need a solid lefty in the bullpen.
One of the other reasons it would be smart for the Twins to keep Slowey is that he is under team control through the 2013 at a very cheap price. That could also help the Twins if they choose to trade him, but only time will tell. If they do trade him, they must get a good pitcher in return. Whether that is a starter or a bullpen, preferably a bullpen arm as it would defeat the purpose to trade him for another starter.