<
>

Slowey pitching with new wrist

Sure, Kevin Slowey's ready for a nice comeback this season. Well, except for those two hunks of metal in his wrist. David Dorsey:

    Slowey described his wrist surgery as a reconstruction. He has a scar on the outside part of his wrist that glowed pink after he finished icing it.

    "They had to cut down some tendons and pull out some tissue and bones that were no longer necessary and just kind of floating around in there," Slowey said. "It was about 15 weeks of rehab to get back to full movement."

    Slowey said his wrist feels different. He has two screws in it.

    "You always project yourself to be where you want to be," Slowey said. "I don't know that I'm going to ever feel the same like I did before.

    "But that's OK. You know, I've got two screws in my wrist. So I shouldn't expect to feel like I felt before."

    --snip--

    Known for his pinpoint control, Slowey said he hopes to maintain that following the surgery.

    "At the end of the year, I guess I'll let you know," Slowey said of whether he expects to improve even more in his third full major league season. "I hope that's the case. I hope that things go well. I expect to go out and compete.

    "If things don't go the way I want them to, it won't be because of any lack of preparation or lack of effort."

As Gleeman points out, "Slowey tends to be relatively blunt when interviewed, so hopefully he was painting an overly pessimistic picture of his status, but even late last season there were rumblings about the screws hurting his range of motion. For a pitcher who relies on pinpoint control, that sounds scary."

Slowey doesn't throw hard, and with the exception of his slow curveball there's not much difference between his fastball and his other pitches. He has to pound the edges of the strike zone like the latter-career Greg Maddux. If he can't do that, he can't really pitch.

This isn't merely an academic discussion. The Twins did squeak into the playoffs last year without getting much from Slowey, but I'm not sure they can do that again. Not with Scott Baker and a quartet of question marks in the starting rotation. The Twins won't have a Cy Young candidate and they don't need one. But it would be nice to have more than one starter with 200 innings and a better-than-average ERA.