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Kevin Slowey

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Kevin Michael Slowey

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[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Kevin Slowey made his major league debut in 2007 and was a member of the Minnesota Twins' pitching staff until 2011.

Slowey was 6-2 with one save and a 3.98 ERA as a freshman in college, with a 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. He improved to 9-4, 3.23 as a sophomore with only 10 walks to 104 strikeouts in 119 2/3 IP. In 2005, Kevin dominated the Big South Conference with a 14-2, 2.18 record with 134 strikeouts and only 13 walks and 91 hits allowed in 136 1/3 innings. He led the Conference in wins and strikeouts and lost the ERA title by .05 to Mike Costanzo to avoid a pitching Triple Crown. He made the All-Conference team and was 28th in NCAA Division I in ERA. He was 3rd in NCAA Division I in wins, one behind Lance Broadway and Luke Hochevar. Baseball America named the Pittsburgh native a third-team All-American, but the American Baseball Coaches Association named him a first-teamer.

Slowey was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the second round of the 2005 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Ricky Taylor for $490,000 and made his pro debut that year with the Elizabethton Twins and dominated, whiffing 15 and allowing no walks and two hits in 7 2/3 IP, saving one game. He was quickly promoted to the Beloit Snappers, going 3-2 with a 2.24 ERA, .183 opponent average and 69 K to 8 BB in 64 1/3 IP. He was the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Month in August

He began the next year with the Fort Myers Miracle and went 4-2 with a 1.01 ERA in 14 starts, allowing a .164 average and striking out 99 while walking 9 in 89 1/3 IP. Left-handers hit .119 and his WHIP was 0.68. That clearly earned a promotion to the AA New Britain Rock Cats. With the Cats, he posted a 4-3 mark and a 3.19 ERA in 9 starts. He led Minnesota's minor leaguers in ERA (1.90) and strikeouts (158). Baseball America rated him as having the best control in the Florida State League and as the #10 prospect in that loop, between Blake DeWitt and Sean Gallagher. He did not stay around long enough to lead the FSL in ERA or win the Most Valuable Pitcher Award, both of which went to Chase Wright. Overall, he tied Wright for the third-lowest ERA in the affiliated minors, trailing only Scott Lewis and Yovani Gallardo and just ahead of Twins Minor League Player of the Year Matt Garza. He was fifth in the affiliated minors in lowest average allowed for a starting pitcher, trailing Donald Veal, Philip Hughes, Garza and Carlos Carrasco.

In qualifications for the 2008 Olympics in 2006, he was the starting pitcher in a win against the Cuban national team, allowing one run in five IP, but allowed three homers in five innings in a no-decision against the Venezuelan national team. Overall, Slowey had a 4.50 ERA in the tournament, which the USA won.

Slowey started the 2007 campaign with the Rochester Red Wings and continued to put up good numbers, going 6-2 with a 1.54 ERA in 9 starts. He fanned 57 and walked 5 while allowing a .200 average. He was .77 ahead of Homer Bailey in ERA in the International League, clearly leading the pack.

This earned a call-up to the Twins, and he made his major league debut on June 1st, starting a game against the Oakland Athletics and giving up just one earned run over six innings. He was the second pitcher from the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League to debut in the majors that year, following Matt DeSalvo. Slowey was named the International League's Most Valuable Pitcher in 2007 and made the All-Star staff. In the AL, he put up a solid 4-1 record with a 4.73 ERA in 11 starts.

Slowey spent almost all of the 2008 season in the Twins' starting rotation and acquitted himself very well. He went 12-11 with a solid 3.99 ERA and an outstanding K/W rate of 123/24 in 160 innings. In addition, he racked up 3 complete games, including 2 shutouts, which tied him for the league lead. Slowey's performance was one of the reasons the Twins overcame the loss of ace starter Johan Santana to battle the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central lead until the battle was decided by a one-game playoff won by the Sox.

After the 2011 season, he went on a charity climb of Mount Kilimandjaro in Tanzania with former teammate R.A. Dickey and two friends. The trek was to raise money for the Bombay Teen Challenge's Red Light District Outreach Mumbai Program, which aims to rescue young Indian women from human trafficking. That same off-season, he was traded twice, first to the Colorado Rockies in December, then to the Cleveland Indians for Zach Putnam on January 20, 2012. Dickey went on to have the best season of his career, winning the 2012 National League Cy Young Award. It was a different story for Slowey, who did not pitch at all in the major leagues in 2012, putting up an uninspiring line of 3-3, 5.14 in 8 starts for the AAA Columbus Clippers while battling injuries. Combined with his forgettable 2011 season, in which he went 0-8, 6.67, there was some doubt about whether he would again be an effective pitcher in the big leagues.

The Miami Marlins took a chance on Slowey in 2013 and he won a spot in their starting rotation a bit by default, after projected starters Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi both went down with injuries in the last days of spring training. Slowey pitched well in the early going, putting up a 2.15 ERA over his first 6 starts, but with nothing to show for it as the Marlins' anemic offense failed to give him any support, saddling with an 0-2 record for all his brilliance. Things changed on May 5th when the Marlins scored 5 1st-inning runs against the Philadelphia Phillies, then added four more in the 3rd against Roy Halladay to give him a comfortable early lead, largely thanks to Adeiny Hechavarria's 7 RBI. He ended up giving up no runs on 2 hits in 7 innings to pick up his first win since September 18, 2010, as the game ended up 14-2 in Miami's favor. On June 8th, he earned a win with a superb relief performance. Having skipped his scheduled start a couple of days earlier because of a rainout, he entered a game against the New York Mets with the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 13th, and put up zeros for the next 7 innings. However, his opponent, Shaun Marcum, matched him until the 20th, when he finally allowed a run. Slowey than gave way to closer Steve Cishek who pitched the bottom of the 20th to earn the save. Slowey had pitched 7 scoreless innings in relief, walking none and striking out 8.

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