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Tag:Kevin Slowey
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:08 pm
 

Indians pick Masterson for opening day duty

Justin Masterson

By C. Trent Rosecrans


In somewhat of a surprise, the Indians have named right-hander Justin Masterson on opening day against the Blue Jays on April 5, instead of Ubaldo Jimenez, manager Manny Acta told reporters on Friday.

"It wasn't a tough call at all," Acta told reporters, including Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. "Everyone knew this guy was our horse last year and Ubaldo wasn't on top of his game. Justin wasn't our opening-day starter last year and he eded up being our No. 1. That's just one date. After the season starts rolling over, everyone is No. 1 on their day."

Jimenez will be the second pitcher in the rotation, while the last three spots will be occupied by Josh Tomlin, Derek Lowe and another pitcher, with that order to be determined later in camp. Kevin Slowey, Jon Garland, David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez and Zach McAllister are battling for the fifth spot in the team's rotation.

The Indians acquired Jimenez from the Rockies at the trade deadline last year, but he didn't quite live up to expectations. After finishing third in the Cy Young voting in 2010, he went 10-13 with a 4.68 ERA overall in 2011, and 4-4 witha  5.10 ERA in 11 starts for the Indians.

Masterson, on the other hand, was 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA in 33 starts and 34 appearances for the Indians last season.

Last year Fausto Carmona (or, Roberto Hernandez) started the season for Cleveland, allowing 10 earned runs in three innings in a loss to the White Sox. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the most runs ever allowed by a starting pitcher who threw no more than three innings in his team's first game of the season.

"I hope I can do a little better than what Rob did last year," Masterson told reporters (again, via the Plain Dealer.) "It's an honor to be out there. I want to set the tone for the team, the game and for the season."

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:09 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 10:55 am
 

Indians add RHP Jon Garland on minor-league deal

Jon GarlandBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Indians have agreed to a deal with veteran right-hander Jon Garland to a minor-league deal with an invitation to big-league camp pending a physical, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

Garland, 32, was 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers last season. He had shoulder surgery in July, ending his season.

In parts of 12 seasons with six different teams, Garland is 132-119 with a 4.32 ERA. He won 18 games in back-to-back years for the White Sox in 2005 and 2006.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

Garland should join in the competition for the Indians' fifth starter, along with Kevin Slowey, David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez and Zach McAllister.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:11 pm
 

Spring position battle: American League Central



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Gearing up for spring training, we're headed east -- -but not too far east, just east from west, or in other words, to the Central, starting in the American League and what positional battles will be fought in the American League Central this spring, continuing the spring position battles series.

Chicago White Sox
Closer: Matt Thornton vs. Jesse Crain vs. Addison Reed

With Sergio Santos in Toronto and Chris Sale headed to the rotation, the White Sox are once again looking for a closer. Thornton saved three games last season and Crain one, but both are more or less keeping the seat warm for Reed, the team's top (and perhaps only) prospect. Thornton, an All-Star in 2010, won the closer battle last season before blowing his first four save opportunities to start the season and he was ultimately replaced by Santos. Crain pitched well last season, but it's Reed that has a chance to be special.

Cleveland Indians
Fifth starter: Kevin Slowey vs. David Huff vs. Jeanmar Gomez vs. Zach McAllister

Ubaldo Jimenez is the team's opening-day starter followed by Justin Masterson, Derek Lowe and Josh Tomlin. The fifth spot is probably Slowey's to lose. The 27-year-old right-hander was twice traded this offseason, first to Colorado and then to Cleveland. While he struggled last season (0-8 with a 6.67 ERA in eight starts and 14 games), he's a proven back-of-the-rotation starter with a 39-29 record and 4.66 ERA. He's also familiar with the AL Central. Gomez made 10 starts for the Indians last season, as did Huff, the only lefty of the group. McAllister made four starts and wasn't overly impressive.

Detroit Tigers
Third base: Miguel Cabrera vs. third base

When the Tigers signed Prince Fielder, the stated plan was that Cabrera will move to third, leaving the DH spot for Victor Martinez -- who isn't playing this year. The Tigers, it appears, are trying to keep Cabrera from getting too big to play third in preparation for 2013 when they'll really have a logjam at the position with Fielder, Cabrera, Martinez and Delmon Young. For now, it seems like wishful thinking that Cabrera can play a passable third base. But if he can, it helps the team out -- especially defensively in the outfield with Young not trying to figure out what to do with that that thing on his left hand.

Kansas City Royals
Second base: Johnny Giavotella vs. Chris Getz vs. Yuniesky Betancourt

What you've heard is true -- there's a ton of talent in Kansas City. In fact, the lineup is nearly set, except for second base and center field. Center should be manned by Lorenzo Cain, who doesn't have a realistic competitor for the spot, but second could be a question. Giavotella came up in 2011 to middling results - .247/.273/.376 with two homers and five stolen bases in 187 plate appearances, but he has a chance to take the position if he can play at the level he established in the minors, where he was a .305/.375/.437 hitter since being taken in the second round of the 2008 draft. While just 5-foot-8, he has shown the ability to make contract (striking out no more than 67 times in any of his minor league seasons) and walk nearly as much as he strikes out (192 minor-league walks to 212 strikeouts). He's not the best defender, but he's adequate. Getz is nobody's idea of a long-term answer. He hit .255/.313/.287 last season, but plays good defense. And then there's Betancourt, who was signed not add depth. The former Royals shortstop will not and should not be pressuring light-hitting Alcides Escobar, but he could add some pop to the infield at second.

Minnesota Twins
Disabled list: Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau vs. the disabled list

No two players may be as essential to their team's success as Mauer and Morneau. The two made a combined $37 million last season -- more than the entire Royals team. And, by the way, Kansas City finished eight games ahead of the Twins in the AL Central. The Twins just barely avoided being a $100-million, 100-loss team, but it took a 1-0 victory over the Royals on the last season to do it. Mauer played in 82 games, while Morneau played in just 69, with the two combining to hit seven home runs between them. Morneau's never seemed to fully recover from the concussion he suffered in July of 2010 and Mauer's had a variety of injuries, missing games with a leg injury, as well as lower back stiffness, a bruised shoulder, neck stiffness and pneumonia. Both players will play first base and DH some to try to keep them healthy, but questions will continue until either plays a productive 130-game-or-so season.

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Posted on: January 21, 2012 6:19 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2012 6:42 pm
 

Red Sox trade Marco Scutaro to Rockies

Marco Scutaro

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Rockies have acquired Boston's Marco Scutaro, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman confirms. Scutaro will play second base and likely bat second for the Rockies.

The deal was rumored on Friday, but then other reports said it was dead -- only to be resuscitated on Saturday. The Denver Post's Troy Renck, who initially reported the possibility of the deal on Friday, wrote the deal was revived "when the Rockies were able to work through some financial issues" to make room for Scutaro's $6-million salary for 2012. Scutaro is a free agent after the season.

Right-hander Clayton Mortensen is headed to Boston in return for the 36-year-old Scutaro. But more than that, it opens the $6 million for the team to spend on a pitcher, such as Roy Oswalt.

Mike Aviles and Nick Punto could platoon at shortstop for the Red Sox in Scutaro's absence. The Red Sox could also go with rookie Jose Iglesias, who appeared in 10 games for the Red Sox last season. Iglecias has a big-league ready glove, but his bat is a serious question. he hit .261/.308/.316 at Triple-A Pawtucket last season.

The Rockies upgrade their lineup with Scutaro, who hit .299/.358/.423 for the Red Sox last season.Jonathan Herrera had been penciled in to not only play second, but bat second.

The Rockies' trade of Kevin Slowey on Friday helped add some more payroll flexibility. Slowey was slated to make $2.75 million in 2012.

Mortensen, 26, appeared in 16 games for the Rockies last season, making six starts. He was 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA overall and 2-3 with a 4.15 ERA in his starts. He struck out 30 batters in 58 1/3 innings, with a 1.354 WHIP.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 4:20 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 5:37 pm
 

Indians trade for RHP Kevin Slowey

Kevin SloweyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Once again, the Indians and Rockies have pulled off a trade for a starting pitcher, as right-hander Kevin Slowey will join Ubaldo Jimenez in the Cleveland rotation, the Rockies announced.

In return, the Indians sent right-hander Zach Putnam to Colorado.

The Rockies traded for Slowey in December, sending minor leaguer Daniel Turpin to the Twins in return for the 28-year old Slowey. Slowey is due $2.75 million in 2012 and is arbitration eligible in 2013.

Slowey was 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA in eight starts and seven relief appearances for the Twins last season. In parts of five seasons in Minnesota, the former second-round draft pick was 39-29 with a 4.66 ERA. He won 13 games in 2010. Last year his walk rate improved to just 0.8 walks per nine innings (from 1.7 in 2010), but his strikeout rate also fell, striking out just 5.2 batters per nine innings. He also pitched in High-A and Triple-A last season, making 11 minor-league starts, going 1-3 with a 3.60 ERA. Slowey will compete for the fifth spot in the Indians' rotation.

Putnam made his big-league debut last season, pitching eight games out of the bullpen, going 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA. Putnam had nine saves for the Indians' Triple-A Columbus team. He was 6-3 with a 3.65 ERA for the Clippers, striking out 68 in 69 innings.

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Mets aren't happy with Dickey's Kilimanjaro climb

R.A. Dickey

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Earlier this offseason we noted Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey was planning on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in January and at the time Dickey said the Mets had "concerns."

In an article in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson confirmed the team sent Dickey's agent a letter letting him know the team could void his contract if he were injured on the climb.

"If we thought it was a good idea, we wouldn't have sent the letter," Alderson told the newspaper. "Beyond that, have we trided to dissuade him from going? It seems to me that the letter is enough of an effort to dissuade him, and he intends to go on nonetheless."

Dickey is set to make $4.5 million in 2012, but he doesn't sound worried -- "it's not like it's Everest."

However, the report notes Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with pulmonary edema after being taken off the mountain on a stretcher.

The 37-year-old knuckleballer will be joined on his trip by Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello and Rockies pitcher Kevin Slowey, as the trio uses the climb to raise money and awareness for Bombay Teen Challenge, which helps victims of sex trafficking in India. While the Mets are right to have their concerns, it's nice to see a baseball player using this kind of off-season trip to raise money for a charity and then sticking to his plan despite his team's concerns and willing to suffer the consequences if things go wrong.

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Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: December 6, 2011 11:28 am
 

Rockies trade for Kevin Slowey

By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- The Colorado Rockies have acquired right-handed pitcher Kevin Slowey from the Minnesota Twins, Scott Miller of CBSSports.com has confirmed. It was first reported by Thomas Harding of MLB.com. In return, the Twins will get a player to be named later.

Slowey, 27, had a forgettable 2011 season, just like his Twins. He was 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 59 1/3 innings. Also much like his Twins, though, injuries hampered Slowey all season, including to his forearm for a bit. There's certainly potential here, as Slowey was 39-21 with a 4.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a low walk rate from 2007-2010. That's not exactly ace-caliber, but makes for a good back-end of the rotation type.

Slowey likely figures as the fifth starter for Colorado, assuming they don't make another move -- which is entirely possible, considering Huston Street and Seth Smith, among others, are rumored to be on the trading block. Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel are likely cemented in the rotation, and youngsters Alex White and Drew Pomeranz -- both acquired in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade -- figure to be in as well.

As for the Twins, they apparently felt they had no use for Slowey anymore. Even if they make no more moves with the rotation, they have Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn.

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Posted on: November 25, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Minnesota Twins



By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. 

For years, the Minnesota Twins were the model of how to build a consistent winner in a small market. From 2001-2010, the Twins appeared in the playoffs six times and recorded just one losing season. But the wheels fell off in 2011, with a mixture of bad fortune and bad pitching. The Twins have two former MVPs in their lineup, but it would be tough to find two former MVPs who did less in 2011 than Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Those two homegrown players were supposed to be cornerstones for the franchise, but their performance last season was more fitting a tombstone. The team's fortunes, for better or worse, will be tied to those two for the next few years.

Lineup

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Michael Cuddyer, 3B
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Torii Hunter, RF
6. Jason Kubel, LF
7. Wilson Ramos, C
8. Danny Valencia, 2B
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Matt Garza
2. Nick Blackburn
3. Kevin Slowey
4. Brian Duensing
5. Anthony Swarzak

Bullpen

Closer - Jesse Crain
Set up - LaTroy Hawkins, J.C. Romero, Pat Neshek, Glen Perkins, Grant Balfour, Peter Moylan

Notable Bench Players

A.J. Pierzynski, Ben Revere, Luke Hughes, Trevor Plouffe.

What's Good?

With Ramos and Pierzynski on the roster, there's zero reason for Mauer to get anywhere near catching gear -- unless it's for another commercial. With Mauer freed of pitching duties, he can concentrate on first base and Justin Morneau doesn't have to worry about playing in the field. Even though Morneau is a very good defensive first baseman, keeping him off the field could keep him on the field. Last year he suffered concussion-like symptoms after merely diving for a ball. Limiting his risks for a recurrence of head injuries should be a top priority for the Twins, and the easiest way to do that solves the team's other big problem, getting the most out of their long-term deal with Mauer. While the Twins don't have anyone on this list with a large number of saves on their resume, there are a ton of good relievers.

What's Not?

It's a good thing the team has good relievers, because they're going to need them -- and even more than the seven listed above. The rotation, after Garza, is shaky. That rotation isn't going to get much help from its defense, either. The roster makeup requires several position shuffles, including Cuddyer to third, a position he's played, but is not too keen on playing. The Twins also have to put Nishioka at shortstop. Although he played there some in 2011, the team signed Jamey Carroll to play shortstop every day in 2012 for a reason.

Comparison to real 2011

Well, if you thought it couldn't get much worse in Minnesota than it did in 2011, it may with this lineup and rotation. Minnesota went 63-99 in 2011, and it probably breaks the 100-loss barrier with this squad, but don't expect them to be historically bad, so it'd probably only cost four-to-eight wins in my unscientific research. Either way, it's an ugly summer in Minneapolis.

Up next: Pittsburgh Pirates

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com