Rockies Acquire Rotation Depth With Twins’ Slowey

The Deal
The Rockies added rotation depth with the acquisition of righthander Kevin Slowey from the Twins for a player to be named. The identity of the PTBN could be revealed following Thursday’s Rule 5 draft because that player could be eligible for selection.

UPDATE: The Rockies sent Double-A righthanded reliever Dan Turpen to the Twins to complete the deal following the Rule 5 draft. One year earlier, the Yankees made Turpen a major league Rule 5 pick, but they returned him during 2011 spring training. (Dec. 8)

A Twins’ second-round pick in 2005, Slowey won the Triple-A International League’s ERA title (and pitcher of the year honors) in 2007, going 10-5, 1.89 with 107 strikeouts and 18 walks in 133 2/3 innings for Rochester. But despite fine pitching at the outset of his Twins career, Slowey’s 4.66 ERA over 532 2/3 big league innings checks in about 10 percent worse than the American League average, when adjusted for home park context. According to Baseball-Reference.com, that’s the AL’s fourth-worst showing since 2007 among pitchers with as many as Slowey’s 90 starts.

Slowey wore out his welcome with the Twins this season as he stumbled after a conversion to the bullpen, where he struggled to get loose on short notice. Moved back into the rotation on Aug. 19, he closed out the year by going 0-8, 7.25 in eight starts. Colorado could use Slowey’s experience and strike-throwing acumen to buy more minor league time for at least one member of its stable of recently-acquired young pitchers, a group that includes Drew Pomeranz, Alex White and Tyler Chatwood.

 
Twins Acquire
Dan Turpen, rhp
Age: 25.
Born: Aug. 17, 1986 in McMinnville, Ore.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 245. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Oregon State.
Career Transactions: Selected by Giants in eighth round of 2007 draft; signed July 5, 2007 … Traded by Giants to Red Sox for RHP Ramon S. Ramirez, July 31, 2010 … Selected by Yankees from Red Sox in Rule 5 major league draft, Dec. 9, 2010 … Returned to Red Sox, March 13, 2011 … Traded by Red Sox to
Rockies for C Mike McKenry, March 29, 2011.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Tulsa (TL) AA 2 4 4.83 48 1 11 59.2 63 34 32 5 35 33 1.64

Turpen joins a growing stable of bullpen hopefuls acquired by Minnesota this offseason. On the same day they acquired Turpen, the Twins selected righthander Terry Doyle (from the White Sox system) with the second pick in the major league Rule 5 draft. Earlier in the offseason they claimed Jeff Gray, Matt Maloney and Esmerling Vasquez on waivers, while signing minor league free agents such as Jason Bulger, Jared Burton, Luis Perdomo and Daryl Thompson. As to Turpen, his Double-A performance does not paint a rosy picture (career 4.55 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings while working in relief), but his stuff suggests he’s capable of much more—which explains why he’s been traded twice and Rule 5′ed once. He sits in the mid-90s with a vicious sinker and backs it up with a 88-92 mph cutter/slider. Turpen will mix in a changeup occasionally, but he could pitch the middle innings for the Twins just on the strength of his power sinker/slider repertoire.

 
Rockies Acquire
Kevin Slowey, rhp
Age: 27. Remaining Commitment: Arbitration-eligible for 2012-13 seasons ($2.7 million salary in 2011).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Minnesota (AL) 2011 0 8 6.67 14 8 0 59.1 78 44 44 10 5 34 1.40
3-Year Totals 23 17 5.01 60 52 0 305.2 363 174 170 46 49 225 1.35

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