Recently MLB Trade Rumors had the chance to ask a few questions of Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey. Slowey won 12 games with a 3.99 ERA last year in his first full season.
MLB Trade Rumors: Throughout your career, you've had pinpoint control and command. How did this ability come about for you? When you were a kid could you put the ball exactly where you wanted?
Kevin Slowey: I'm not sure there is any real explanation for my command, except that I've been blessed with the ability to throw strikes…It would be like trying to explain how Jesse Crain acquired the ability to throw 97, or how Josh Hamilton can hit a ball 600 feet..It is certainly something I work on, but not anything that I can really explain.
MLBTR: There's a rumor your older brother Dan was the more talented one growing up…what happened there?
Slowey: Haha, he really was the more talented one, and probably still is…especially when it came to chemistry experiments.
MLBTR: The Twins locked up your rotation-mate Scott Baker through his arbitration years with an option on his first free agent season. Are you interested in signing an extension, or do you prefer going year-to-year for now?
Slowey: For now I don't have a whole lot of say in the matter, but if it is ever in my hands I would love to stay with the Twins long term. I like everything about our organization, from my teammates down to the the die-hard fans and hope I can be a part of baseball in Minnesota for a long time.
MLBTR: Did you ever get to meet your favorite player, Andy Van Slyke? How about Greg Maddux?
Slowey: I did, my first spring training during an exhibition game in Lakeland. I've never met Maddux, but I did have the pleasure of watching him firsthand last year in San Diego.
MLBTR: How deeply do you examine your own stats? What numbers do you find the most helpful?
Slowey: Not that deeply to be honest. The best indicator of success isn't always in the numbers, but in my ability to give my team a chance to win every time out there. If I can do that, my stats should take care of themselves.
MLBTR: You had to face Nick Swisher and Milton Bradley in your first big league inning in Oakland. What was going through your head at the time?
Slowey: Haha, a lot. And very quickly too. You don't really have time to enjoy your first game until after it is over and time starts slowing back down again. Those six innings in Oakland felt like they took about 15 minutes…15 minutes I'll never forget.
MLBTR: Do you have an innings target for 2009? You had to overcome a biceps strain to start '08, but got on track pretty quickly in May.
Slowey: Not really… As I said before, isolated statistics don't mean a whole lot to me. If I was out on the mound thinking about how many innings I needed, or how many pitches I had left, I can't imagine I would have a lot of success. As long as I can continue to improve on a daily basis, I'm sure the secondary statistics will fall into place.