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Berardino: Colabello played injured

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:20 AM
Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press writes that Chris Colabello played with an injurythrough most of 2014. He has nerve damage in his rig...
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Just a little FA SP options homework

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:19 AM
So I did a little homework for my own information on FA SP options that may be of interest to the Twins. While doing so, FWIW, I thought...
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Article: ...and Then There Were Three

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:16 AM
It was three-and-a-half weeks ago that General Manager Terry Ryan announced that manager Ron Gardenhire would not be returning to his job...
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Article: Left Field In Need Of Upgrade

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:16 AM
If there is one position that will be different for the Minnesota Twins in 2015, it appears that it will be left field. And if the team w...
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Article: Let's Just Roll With What We Have

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:08 AM
It may mean a bunch of losses in 2015, but the Twins need to use their next season to evaluate what they have. Next off-season, they can...
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Sleeping on Slama

After seeing the two starters who were supposed to serve as veteran leaders in the rotation exit after recording only 12 outs on successive nights, it's not hard to understand why the Twins have been carrying 13 pitchers on the roster for much of the year.

What is hard to understand is why, with all these different relief slots, and with so many different guys being shuffled in and out, the Twins still haven't been able to find room for Anthony Slama on the major-league roster.Attached Image: anthonyslama.jpg
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Slama has clearly never been held in particularly high esteem by the organization, despite his dazzling numbers in the minors. He owns a lifetime 2.00 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, and he has averaged more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings at every single level, yet he's been mired in Triple-A for four years and at age 28 he has logged only seven MLB innings.

The knocks against Slama are that his control isn't very good and he's weak against left-handed hitting. Those things both may be true, but neither precludes him from being a useful big-league reliever. His numbers in Triple-A are absurdly dominant. In 133 1/3 total innings for Rochester, he has registered a 2.36 ERA and 161-to-66 strikeout-to-walk ratio, yielding only 87 hits. This year, he has struck out 43 percent of the batters he's faced while posting a 0.59 ERA as the Red Wings' closer.

Although he's been able to consistently overcome his flaws and decimate hitters at every level of the minors, the Twins simply do not seem to view him as a guy who can make an impact at the next level. Apparently, they're not alone. At the end of last season, Slama was removed from the 40-man roster and exposed to waivers. Nobody claimed him.

I presumed at the time that both the decision to outright him and the lack of interest from even reliever-needy bottom feeders stemmed largely from elbow problems that ended his 2011 campaign in August. Yet this year, the side-arming righty has shown no ill effects from the injury – he's been nearly unhittable.

So at this point Slama is healthy, averaging almost two strikeouts per inning in Triple-A, and 28 years old. Oh, and there's an open spot on the 40-man roster. In this lost season, it's baffling that the Twins aren't interested in taking an extended look at what the guy can do against big-league hitters. If control is his biggest problem, why not make him a project for Rick Anderson? What is there to lose?

Slama's stuff might not be especially great, but I have an exceedingly difficult time believing that a pitcher can overpower hitters to that degree at the highest level of the minor leagues and stand no chance of providing value in the majors. Give him a chance.


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