Kevin Slowey made his first rehab appearance for the Rochester Red Wings in game one of a double header against Pawtucket on Tuesday night.
Although he did not need to rely on run support (Rochester hammered six home runs and won 13-3), Slowey was satisfied with his 2 2/3 inning appearance in which he allowed four hits and two runs while striking out two and hitting two batters.
“Physically I felt good; mechanically – pretty far off. I got a chance to talk to [Red Wings’ pitching coach] Bobby Cuellar after the game a little bit about the mechanical side of things. Physically I felt good and definitely something to build on.”
Slowey said he expects to make at least one more start in Rochester, but realistically “probably a couple.” His off-speed pitches, which he threw 36.7 percent of the time with the Twins this season, is what needs the most improvement.
“My fastball felt great, but everything else, really, the mechanics of it – I got really rotational and that hinders location when it comes to anything that’s not a straight pitch And for me, any breaking stuff today, I didn’t command very well…fastballs I felt like I had command where I wanted – breaking balls, not really. So that’s something for sure I’ll work on.”
The right-hander threw 50 pitches, 39 for strikes. He said that the two hit-by-pitches were unintentional and came on two-strike pitches when he was trying to set up the batter.
Overall, Slowey acknowledges that there is still plenty to work on as he tries returns from the disabled list, but is content with his first start in triple-A.
“For me it’s going to be about getting right physically and right mechanically to the point where I can contribute wherever it is that I’m at after that.”
His language was the first hint of foreshadowing about Slowey’s future with the Twins. When asked further about if he would return to the Twins’ bullpen, he laid out his situation:
“I think over the course of all those conversations I’ve had with Andy [Twins’ pitching coach Rick Anderson] and Gardy [Twin’s manager Ron Gardenhire], the consensus among all of us is that the right thing to do would be to find a place for me to start. And the reason behind that is that’s where I’ve been the most successful. I’ve proven to be successful there. I want nothing more than to succeed for the team I’m on in whatever capacity it is. Being put in a spot to succeed I think is the most important. And as Gardy has said, publicly and privately, that the right thing to do is to find me a place to start. Where that is – I don’t know…I’m going to go out there, wherever they have me go – I just want to be successful and I think that’s really going to be the end result.”
Speculation has been for some time that Slowey, who underperformed this season following a bullpen demotion, will be moved. Gardenhire all-but-affirmed in late May that this would be the best option for both parties.
“I honestly think the right thing (is to let Slowey start somewhere), and that’s what we’re trying to talk about now,” Gardenhire said via 1500 ESPN’s Tom Pelissero. “We talked with Kevin, we’re going to talk with Billy (Smith, the Twins’ general manager) when we get home and try to figure out the right thing for Kevin to make sure he keeps his arm in good shape and all those things.”
For now Slowey will continue his rehab with the Red Wings despite his unresolved relationship with the Twins and the uncertainty about his Major League future.