Thursday, January 5, 2012

Conspicuous by their absence

David Bromberg was
the Twins' minor league
pitcher of the year
in 2010.
One might think that 25 non-roster invites would pretty much cover everybody in the Twins organization worth considering, but there are two names not on the list released Tuesday worth noting: David Bromberg and Anthony Slama.

The two right-handers were in camp last spring -- both were then on the 40-man roster -- but had injuries during the season. They were removed from the 40 after the season and passed over during the Rule V draft.

And neither will be in major league camp this spring.

I wasn't surprised when the Twins moved them off the 40, and at least in Bromberg's case I didn't, and still don't, read into it a deeply diminished status for the player. I saw it, in both cases, as a calculated risk. The Twins gambled that other teams wouldn't claim either off waivers or Rule V because of their 2011 injuries, and they were right.

Bromberg, a starter, wasn't reckoned major-league ready entering camp last year, and certainly after a season lost to a fractured forearm (hit by a line drive) he wasn't going to be a serious candidate for the major league roster this spring either.

Anthony Slama has
walked seven men in
his seven major
league innings.
Slama, a reliever, is another matter. He was never as highly regarded (at least by the organization) as Bromberg -- his good minor league numbers written off as the fluky result of a delivery that wouldn't deceive major league hitters -- but by last spring he was as ready to pitch in the majors as he was ever going to be.

But the Twins had other options they liked better, and Slama started experiencing arm problems in spring training. He got a little big-league time in the summer, but was shut down by August with elbow woes. He avoided surgery, but lost his 40-man roster spot. He's been pitching winter ball in Mexico, and reportedly doing well, but ... the Twins still didn't see fit to invite him to camp.

Slama has three seasons of Triple A ball on his record, and an ERA with Rochester of 2.59, but the Twins don't trust his stuff or his command. If they're not going to look at him this spring, with as many holes as they have in the bullpen, they never will.


  1. I wouldn't completely write off Slama yet. Both Slama and Bromberg are coming off injuries. The Twins are very familiar with both. They also know what need to work on/improve to be viable big league pitchers. With all the pitchers they will be looking at for largely the first time, both Bromberg and Slama might be better off in the minor league camp working on the things they need to work on.

    Slama's chances of being an important part of a big league bullpen aren't that great, but if he can somehow improve his control, it could still happen.

  2. I don't know how a guy with his stats doesn't get a long long look in the Spring. I don't care what the Twins pundits think. The Righthanded options for the Twins are putrid. Look at these stats in the minors:

    14 Wins 10 Losses, 2.08 Career ERA, Only 185 hits in 286 innings, 387 K's in 286 innings, 86 Saves, a miniscule 1.073 WHIP.

    These are fantastic numbers and the fact that he is not given a chance is unbelievable. I just don't know about the Twins front office anymore. I hope Anthony gets out of this messed up organization soon and goes where he will get a chance.