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Sid: Ryan And Gardenhire Expected To Return For 2015

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:25 AM
According to Sid Hartman (who has many close, personal friends), the Minnesota Twins' general manager Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhi...
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Game Thread: Tigers@Twins 8/22 7:10pm

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:23 AM
Can the Twins help keep Detroit out of first place and the playoffs? As Twins fans, do we even care who makes the playoffs? Tonight, the...
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Improving the Defense in 2015

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:23 AM
The Twins played a sloppy three error game today, but on the whole errors haven't been their biggest defensive problem.  They have s...
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Terry Ryan scheduled to see Alex Meyer pitch for the firs...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:11 AM
This little Berardino column from early yesterday slipped my perusal:   Twinsights:  What's the Plan for Meyer?    ...
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Article: Wake Me Up When September Ends: Starting Rotation

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:57 PM
As the season starts to wind down, this is the first in a series of posts looking at different parts of the Twins roster . There have bee...
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The Store


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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