Kevin Slowey's demotion from the Minnesota Twins to Triple-A Rochester shouldn't be permanent, according to Twins personnel.
Twins Director of Media Relations Molly Gallatin said Friday that Slowey was sent down due to the All-Star break. With teams taking off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for the break, he wasn't going to get a chance to pitch for at least 10 days.
Although Slowey's performance against the New York Yankees Thursday wasn't good (five runs in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season), he'll most likely re-join the Twins before the month is over.
"He wouldn't have pitched for a while, and it was just to get him some regular work," Gallatin said. "He's our top pitching prospect."
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Minnesota was set to play a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on Friday and play two more games in Chicago before the break. The Twins already had to shuffle the rotation when ace Johan Santana, who should have pitched Sunday's game, was selected for the All-Star Game.
Slowey's brief outing Thursday caused the Twins to use three relief pitchers, sending the team scrambling for fresh arms. Slowey was sent down to make room for Carmen Cali, while Slowey took Cali's place in Rochester.
In a story on the Twins' Web site, manager Ron Gardenhire said the move was made with some reluctance.
"(Slowey) is learning on the job, and he would still be learning on the job with us, but we're in a bit of a bind here," Gardenhire said.
Slowey did not return repeated calls Thursday night or Friday.
Slowey is undefeated in his fledgling major-league career, winning three of his seven starts. He's been hit hard in the majority of his 37 innings, compiling a 5.84 ERA and giving up more home runs (13) than walks (nine).
On Thursday, Slowey recorded the first two outs of the second inning but gave up a solo homer to Robinson Cano. Back-to-back doubles after the long ball led to another homer from Melky Cabrera, giving the Yankees a 5-2 lead.
Slowey left in the fourth inning after Minnesota had rallied to tie the game. The game remained deadlocked until the eighth, when the Twins' Pat Neshek gave up a two-run homer to Hideki Matsui, the deciding runs in a 7-6 loss.
In the Web story, Slowey said he'd use the time in Triple-A to work on the problems he'd encountered in his maiden voyage to the big leagues.
"I think the biggest thing is I realized what are good pitches here aren't necessarily the same as the good pitches in Triple-A," he said. "When I go down, I have to work on my misses being balls, as opposed to back up over the plate and a little too hittable. Goodness knows, I have plenty to work on."