Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Slowey Done For Season

The Twins announced yesterday that Kevin Slowey will undergo surgery on his wrist and is likely done for the season. The news doesn't come as a big surprise. Slowey experienced uncharacteristic command problems in his last couple starts and was subsequently shut down indefinitely due to pain in his right wrist stemming from an injury he sustained late last season. Things like this don't bode well and generally lead to bad news. That is the case here.

It's really terrible news for the Twins. Slowey had been relatively inconsistent this year, giving up far too many hits and far too many homers, but he'd still displayed the ability to dominate at times and had been the team's second-best starter overall. His ability to rebound and pitch the way he did in, say, May -- when he went 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA -- was to be one of the biggest keys for the Twins in the second half in their quest to make a postseason run. Now they'll have to do it without him, and with Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker still struggling to get on track, that's an extremely tall task.

Anthony Swarzak has pitched fairly well in limited duty, but now he'll really be put to the test as a likely fixture in this rotation for the remainder of the season. His peripherals suggest his ERA won't stay under 4 for terribly long. Meanwhile, Nick Blackburn and Glen Perkins have seen their pitch-to-contact techniques backfire horribly in recent starts, Liriano has struggled hopelessly with his command, and Baker's ERA is still hovering around 5. It's too soon to write them off, but the Twins won't win without quality starting pitching and right now the outlook for this rotation isn't terribly optimistic.