Posted at 7:56 PM on May 13, 2009
by David Zingler
Since beginning last season 2-6, Kevin Slowey has won 14 of his next 20 decisions and become one the Twins most reliable starters. The 25-year-old former 2nd round pick has excelled at every level and looks to have a successful and lucrative career ahead of him.
The talkative hurler took some time out to chat with me before tonight's game.
DZ: First off, congrats on the win last night. What's it like the day after you pitch; how does your arm feel, how does your body feel?
SLOWEY: Generally you're pretty sore the day afterward. But, I think you kind of get used to it after a couple of years of throwing. The day after you do your best to run and lift and get that soreness out.
DZ: (Is it) a little better after a win, a little less sore?
SLOWEY: Not really, believe it or not. It's still equally as sore. Maybe the day after a solid out you have a little more energy to go out there and lift and do what you need to do.
DZ: Do you throw the day after you pitch?
SLOWEY: You throw. You really throw everyday. The only thing you change around is the two days after you start is you lift and run accordingly.
DZ: You are off to a good start record wise, was that a goal of yours after getting off to more of a rocky start last year?
SLOWEY: Not particularly, just because your record is sometimes indicative of how you throw and how the team plays behind you. My record this year - really I think if you look at it - we've played tremendous defense and we've hit very well the games that I have thrown. It is a team game and when it comes down to it, the team's record is most important. If I am giving my team a chance to win, that's the best I can do.
DZ: Last year you started the season on the DL and came back and didn't get out of the gate very fast - you were very successful in the minors and going back to college - what did you learn from (those tough times)?
SLOWEY: I think you learn a whole lot more struggling than you do succeeding. When you struggle you are forced to kind of look back at what you did and say, "OK, what changes can I make?" When you succeed, you are a little less likely to make changes. So, the beginning of the year last year - struggling a little bit - I sat down and looked at some video of how I was throwing and got a better idea of what makes me successful as a pitcher and tried stick more with that and have maybe a little more focused game plan.
DZ: I noticed you've been blogging a little bit during the off-season for MLB.com, how did that come about?
SLOWEY: It actually started a couple of years ago when I was on the Twins (Winter) Caravan...I started to blog then at the request of our media department here. They asked if I would write just to keep people informed of where the Caravan was and where we were going.
DZ: What was your major in college?
SLOWEY: International business with a Spanish minor.
DZ: Did you do a lot of writing?
SLOWEY: No, not at all. I did almost no writing. I took one composition class in college, that was it.
DZ: You were born in Texas, but grew up in Pennsylvania, you're a big Steelers fan - I noticed looking at your blog - have you met of their players?
SLOWEY: No, not outside of just regular fan interaction. I am a Steelers fan - really - and go to the games and sometimes run into those guys. I am a big Penguins fan too - obviously there's a big Game 7 tonight against the Capitols. I was born in Texas, but only lived there for a couple of years. I went kindergarten through high school in Pittsburgh and have always been a Pittsburgh guy.
DZ: How may Steelers games do you get to a year?
SLOWEY: I try to get to at least a couple. I am usually home right around Thanksgiving and Christmas and do my best to get to a couple. There have been years when I haven't been able to get to one. Last year I actually got to the Browns game in Cleveland. We were in Cleveland playing the Indians that weekend. It's been neat and they've been a great team to cheer for.
DZ: Being a professional athlete watching other professional athletes, do you forget you're a baseball player and just start cheering like a fan?
SLOWEY: Absolutely, you are just a fan. It's a great reminder of what it is like to be a fan because you appreciate what it takes for these fans - our fans - to come out an cheer for us and support us. As a Steelers fan, you hurt when they lose and you feel great when they win. When you come to the field and are on the other side of the stands, you realize that those fans really do care about us and they do live and die with games that we play.
DZ: What was your reaction when Santonio Holmes caught the (Super Bowl winning) touchdown?
SLOWEY: I didn't sit down that whole 4th quarter, I was so nervous. My brother and I watched the game together and it was awesome being able see them win a couple of Super Bowls now - the last four years. It's been a lot of fun.
DZ: Yeah, a lot of Vikings fans around here are jealous.
SLOWEY: (laughs) We accept all applicants, if you want to be a Steelers fan.
DZ: There's no going back, as I am sure you know.
SLOWEY: (laughs) That's right.
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
See more of David Zingler's interviews with Twins players:
April 30: Brendan Harris
April 28: Jason Kubel
April 18: Justin Morneau
April 15: R.A. Dickey
April 14: Denard Span
April 8: Philip Humber
April 7: Joe Crede