Slowey….and a programming note

Posted on June 25th, 2008 – 7:37 AM
By La Velle

The results are definitely better for Twins righthander Kevin Slowey lately. He’s won his past three starts, during which he’s posted a 1.35 ERA.

He’s been throwing two bullpen sessions with pitching coach Rick Anderson between starts, the normal session two days after starts then a 4-5 minute touch-up session a day later to make sure he’s sharp. Anderson has tried the same thing with Glen Perkins, tonight’s starter.

I expected that Slowey would take a while to adjust to major league hitters, and he’s in that process now. He’s far from overpowering, so he has to have pinpoint control and get one step ahead of hitters.

He needed 55 pitches to get through three innings on Tuesday. While San Diego didn’t hit him too hard, he had trouble finishing off hitters and some at-bats ran long. That’s the big hurdle he needs to clear now – putting hitters away – and he’ll really take off.

I’ve said this before, but Scott Baker had the same trouble a couple years ago. Now he’s the Twins’ most reliable starter. If Slowey can take that next step, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire won’t have to debate a pitching move after six innings and 92 pitches.

In other news, I’m filling in for Rock Bottom Radio from Noon to 2 p.m. today on KFAN.  Phone lines will be open.

Update: Just wanted to point out that the umpire who appeared to step into Mets manager Jerry Manuel on Tuesday before tossing him from the game was Brian Runge. Runge is the same umpire who tossed Ron Gardenhire from a June 15 game in Milwaukee. Gardenhire then was fined for time-wasting.

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