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View Full Version : Bollinger: Slama making his pitch



John Bonnes
02-24-2013, 07:58 PM
Bollinger gives us an update on Anthony Slama's state of mind.....


"Whenever they throw me out there, I'm just going to pitch my game," said Slama, who posted a 3.68 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 22 innings in the Mexican winter league this offseason. "You can't think about who is pitching ahead of you or behind you or who you're in competition with. You just have to throw your game and not worry about that stuff."

....and his unfortunate status:


Slama is competing for a spot in the bullpen but isn't on the 40-man roster. It could come down to a numbers game in the bullpen, especially considering that three relievers fighting for spots -- Anthony Swarzak, Tim Wood and Josh Roenicke -- are out of Minor League options.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130222&content_id=41882724&notebook_id=41883216

FrodaddyG
02-24-2013, 08:54 PM
I'm still beyond baffled why, after 3+ years in AAA with excellent performance, he hasn't ever gotten a fair chance at an MLB bullpen spot.

Twins Twerp
02-24-2013, 09:10 PM
I'm still beyond baffled why, after 3+ years in AAA with excellent performance, he hasn't ever gotten a fair chance at an MLB bullpen spot.

To give twinsdaily.com members something to talk about

YourHouseIsMyHouse
02-24-2013, 09:18 PM
I'm still beyond baffled why, after 3+ years in AAA with excellent performance, he hasn't ever gotten a fair chance at an MLB bullpen spot.

I've just come to accept he's not a "Twins pitcher". Strikeouts and good performance=Not our way
Guys like Roenicke and Burnett with a High WHIP+ low K rate on the other hand...

IdahoPilgrim
02-24-2013, 09:55 PM
And yet, if the case for him being MLB-ready and deserving a roster spot is so ironclad, why did nobody pick him up in the rule 5 draft this year? Or last year?

mnfanforlife
02-24-2013, 10:03 PM
Slama just needs an opportunity. I see him being a crafty middle relief guy if given a real shot somewhere. Hopefully wont be life-long minor leaguer

gunnarthor
02-24-2013, 10:21 PM
didn't do himself any favors with today's performance. He might come up sometime this year but I don't see how he'll make the team out of ST.

Nick Nelson
02-24-2013, 10:23 PM
And yet, if the case for him being MLB-ready and deserving a roster spot is so ironclad, why did nobody pick him up in the rule 5 draft this year? Or last year?
It's a good question and I can't figure out the answer. How is it that no team will even gamble a roster spot on giving him an extended look? How can there be such widespread agreement that a guy who dominates hitters to that degree at the highest level of the minors has no chance of being an asset in the majors?

I'm past the point of criticizing the Twins on it really, it just boggles my mind.

FrodaddyG
02-24-2013, 11:10 PM
I'm past the point of criticizing the Twins on it really, it just boggles my mind.
I just don't get how a team can use Jeff Gray in nearly 1/3 of its games in a lost season when someone with Slama's numbers is sitting in Rochester waiting to get an extended look.

FrodaddyG
02-24-2013, 11:11 PM
And yet, if the case for him being MLB-ready and deserving a roster spot is so ironclad, why did nobody pick him up in the rule 5 draft this year? Or last year?
Nobody said it was ironclad, but his numbers would lead you to believe he deserves a shot to prove it one way or another instead of becoming the Van Wilder of the Rochester Red Wings.

gunnarthor
02-24-2013, 11:28 PM
It's a good question and I can't figure out the answer. How is it that no team will even gamble a roster spot on giving him an extended look? How can there be such widespread agreement that a guy who dominates hitters to that degree at the highest level of the minors has no chance of being an asset in the majors?

I'm past the point of criticizing the Twins on it really, it just boggles my mind.

I think it's pretty clear that teams don't think he has the stuff. As stat orientated as we are, every team still relies on traditional scouting and Slama, apparently, fails that. Not sure how many teams want to waste a 25 man spot on a 29 year old AAA journeyman who tops out at 91.

whosafraidofluigirussolo
02-24-2013, 11:43 PM
And yet, if the case for him being MLB-ready and deserving a roster spot is so ironclad, why did nobody pick him up in the rule 5 draft this year? Or last year?

Last year, if I remember right, he was coming off an injury and hadn't pitched in months.
This year, it's more of a puzzle. Maybe teams think he's too old now...?

Seth Stohs
02-25-2013, 12:47 AM
He would have been up last year if not for missing over 2 months with a broken leg. Believe me, I want to see Slama get an extended look with the Twins to get a chance to prove that the minor league numbers aren't a fluke. As I wrote in the prospect handbook, Slama is really a case of the numbers versus the scouting reports.

The numbers are undeniable. He's been pretty incredible with the strikeouts, the low WHIP and the low ERA while pitching in save situations.

The scouting side of it notices a few things too. 1.) The guy tops out closer to 88 than to 91. Today on the Hammond Stadium radar gun (according to the radio guys), he was hitting 88-89, but that gun is 2-3 mph fast. 2.) Walks have always been an issue (along with working fairly slow because of all the 3-ball counts), and today certainly didn't help that. The walks will bother Gardy more than the hits. 3.) They don't think he'l be able to consistently get left-handed hitters out because of his delivery and where the ball comes out of his hand.

I want to see Slama get a real, extended opportunity. He is a really good person, works really hard, etc. He has put up the numbers, which should count for something, especially the AAA numbers, but he is also what he is in terms of pitches. He doesn't throw as hard or have as much bite on his pitches as guys like Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez, Casey Fien, and yes, even Jeff Gray. So, I get it, but from a personal level, I want to see him get a chance.

Gene Larkin Fan Club
02-25-2013, 07:55 AM
If Slama earns a shot (difficult to judge him based on his first actual outing of Spring Training), he needs to have a spot on the 25 man roster. Does anyone believe that Swarzak would get plucked if we removed him from the 40 man roster and gave Slama a shot? Does anyone think the organization would crumble if a team did pluck Swarzak?

nicksaviking
02-25-2013, 08:16 AM
It's a long season, the indignity of not making the opening day 25-man roster is quickly forgotten after a mid-season call-up. The pesky issue of not being on the 40-man can be resolved when someone suffers a lengthy injury or is terrible enough to be DFA'd. Barring his own injury or AAA ineffectiveness, Slama will surely get his shot sometime this year, I'm not sweating it. Though I've wanted to see Slama get his shot too, since he's not on the the 40-man, I actually would be annoyed if the team lost someone like Fien or Pressly because they wanted to atone for the past snubs and give Slama the spot. He certainly deserves his shot, but I don't want it to come at the expense of another pitcher with a glimmer of potential.

mike wants wins
02-25-2013, 08:25 AM
For a team that prides itself on loyalty, giving Tim Wood a better shot that Slama makes no sense. It used to baffle me that he is not getting a shot, but it is now in the Punto/Butera camp....it is just part of who the Twins are.....

John Bonnes
02-25-2013, 08:53 AM
I don't think this is as baffling as we think. Or at least, I think the baffling part isn't the Twins behavior. It's in the difference between AAA and MLB.

We assume, based on lots of statistics and personal experience, that there isn't a huge difference between AAA and MLB, and we're right for most players. But that's a composite look. Indeed, there are many differences, some more extreme than others, and for players who tend to rely on some extreme skill, that can mean a much easier or more difficult promotion.

I think Slama is an extreme player. Guys with 88mph stuff don't have those kind of K rates. I don't know exactly what skill he relies on, but it seems to be the ability to get calls on the edge of the zone, or "nibble." Thus, the high K and walk rates. And it's possible that in the majors, between better batting eyes and umpiring tendencies, that is a much higher hill to climb.

Certainly, what limited time (only seven innings, seven games) he's seen with he Twins hasn't been impressive. His walk rate is 9. His hit rate was over 11. His WHIP = 1.8+.

Which isn't to say he doesn't deserve a chance. I think he does deserve a chance. But I think that's what the Twins and every other team in the major wrestles with. They just don't believe that his success, which is far outside the norm of most pitchers, is going to translate at the next level. I'm not sure they're wrong. I'm also just not sur they're right.

Nick Nelson
02-25-2013, 09:21 AM
Does anyone believe that Swarzak would get plucked if we removed him from the 40 man roster and gave Slama a shot? Does anyone think the organization would crumble if a team did pluck Swarzak?
I don't think Swarzak is at the top of the list to be removed from the 40-man.


They just don't believe that his success, which is far outside the norm of most pitchers, is going to translate at the next level. I'm not sure they're wrong. I'm also just not sur they're right.
Of course, there's one way to find out for sure...

mnfanforlife
02-25-2013, 09:56 AM
Swarzak is not that good. I say give Slama his spot on the 40-man

SweetOne69
02-25-2013, 10:08 AM
Swarzak is not that good. I say give Slama his spot on the 40-man

Considering Swarzak and Slama would have extremely different roles in the BP, I highly doubt that Slama would be taking Swarzak's slot on the 40-man or 25-man rosters.

JB_Iowa
02-25-2013, 10:29 AM
Tell me again why he didn't get a call-up in September? Seems to me he was back from his broken leg before that. Maybe his injury meant he hadn't "earned" the call-up during last season ... but his overall minor league career with the Twins certainly should have merited a call-up in September. I write that one off to the cheapness of the Twins (just another building block in my dissatisfaction with this organization).

StormJH1
02-25-2013, 10:40 AM
I guess I'm kind of with Bonnes on this one. It's easy to say "he deserves a shot" and I'm not sure that he won't get a shot this year if we have injuries/poor performance in the pen. But while he's probably "earned" at least a look in the midst of two terrible MLB seasons, you can also look at his game and have serious questions as to whether that would actually work on big league hitters.

I think the walks are a HUGE reason they might be concerned. It's one thing to have a BB/9 in the 4.0 range if you're a fireballer. But if your fastball is 88mph on a good day, and you can probably expect those walks to go UP, not down, with selective MLB hitters, that's a cause for concern. And it's the one area of his game that really hasn't improved, at least according to the numbers.

One thing you can say about him in his two VERY brief callups is that while he didn't look great, he did strike guys out. So, yeah, if this ends up being another "lost" season for the Twins, I'd like to see him get at least 15-30 innings in the bigs. If he's terrible then as a 29-year old, we can consider it settled. But I guess I'm just not too riled up about it either, since I don't honestly believe we're sitting on the next great reliever.

Seth Stohs
02-25-2013, 11:05 AM
Slama becomes a minor league free agent following the 2013 season, so they will have to make a decision on him by the time World Series finishes. If they let him become a free agent, he will be gone. No question.

Oldgoat_MN
02-25-2013, 11:15 AM
Sign me up as another that would like Slama to get a real chance in MLB. I realize there may be issues, but some pitchers manage to get batters out in ways that don't require a great fastball.
In his 6 year minor league career he has never had a season where his WHIP was as high as 1.3. There are some pretty good pitchers out there who cannot say that. If he fails, well, then we know. A year like this is perfect for figuring out who to let go and who to keep for the rebuild.

silverslugger
02-25-2013, 11:52 AM
I'm not necessarily in the camp that thinks Slama should be given a chance at the expense of Swarzak. However, is it too much of a stretch to suggest that Swarzak has gotten his opportunities because he's "Swarzy" whereas Slama is not "Slammy"? I think you know what I mean.

Oldgoat_MN
02-25-2013, 12:02 PM
I'm not necessarily in the camp that thinks Slama should be given a chance at the expense of Swarzak. However, is it too much of a stretch to suggest that Swarzak has gotten his opportunities because he's "Swarzy" whereas Slama is not "Slammy"? I think you know what I mean.

Like.