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Rounding the Bases With: Kevin Slowey
Kevin Slowey
Kevin Slowey, who entered the season with a 1.96 career ERA, might be the next top Minnesota pitcher.

By Chuck King

Minnesota fans anxiously looking forward to Matt Garza’s promotion to the big leagues would do well to keep and eye Garza’s teammate, Kevin Slowey.

Both pitchers started last season with Fort Myers of the high-Class A Florida State League, and while Garza’s 1.42 ERA in eight games was pretty darn good, Slowey’s 1.01 ERA in 14 games was even better.

The Twins second round pick in 2005 wasn’t quite as dominating in Double-A New Britain, where he finished 2006 with a 3.19 ERA in nine games. His combined ERA for the year was still below 2.00.

Despite allowing more runs in New Britain, Slowey believes moving from Single-A to Double-A helped keep him fresh.

“I got a chance to play on a whole bunch of different teams,” Slowey said. “That kind of broke up the monotony.  With 160 games, it’s tough not to creep into the monotony. A change of scenery, a change of teammates - that kept me a little shaper.”

Slowey spent much of spring training in the Twins big league camp. He was pleased with his spring performance and showed could be pitch comfortably against big league hitters.

His strong spring has translated into early success for Triple-A Rochester this season. The right hander has won all three of his starts, striking out 20 batters in his first 18.2 innings and posting miniscule 0.96 ERA. rounded the bases with Slowey near the end of spring training.

First Base:
What is the best ballpark you’ve played in?
Legends Field in Tampa. The atmosphere when we went over there this spring as great. It was packed house. Just announcing their lineup was almost comical. Damon, Jeter A-Rod, Giambi, Matsui – they’re just guys who I’ve been watching on TV the last four or five years. They made a big to do about all of the Hall of Famers and they had an F-15 fly by. That was neat.

Second Base:
When you pull into your hotel, what restaurant do you want to see on the corner?
Jersey Mikes or Moe’s - something that’s quick and easy. It’s not really a sit down. Also it’s fairly healthy. You can convince yourself of that because you’re not eating a cheeseburger every day.

Third Base:
What kind of music to you like?
All kinds. I like listening to 80s stuff and classic rock, too. If you listen to my Ipod it has everything from hard rock to hard rap to country to a handful of Mexican songs.

Home Plate:
What's the most memorable thing a heckler has yelled to you?

In St. Pete playing the Devil Rays, I had to wear glasses instead of contacts because of an eye infection. I was warming up and the guy yelled, “Hey, who let the librarian on the field.”

Extra Bases:
What’s the funniest thing you've seen in minor league baseball?
Guys were back and forth doing a lot of practical jokes. Steve Tollison took Corey Feiner’s car keys, put them in a cup of water and put them in freezer during the game. When he came back in it was just a block of ice with his keys in it in his locker. It was pretty good.

Check out my blog for more on interesting minor league ballplayers, fans and promotions.



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