It may not look like it with the slush and snow on the ground but the calendar confirms that it is, in fact, February. February – the month of love, the month of presidents, and, most importantly, the month of pitchers and catchers. The Phillies are now under three weeks away from loading up the bats, balls, catching equipment, and more and heading down to Clearwater. Let’s take a look at some of the players you can expect to see in Spring Training that are not official members of the roster.
Who: Kevin Slowey
Age and position: 30, right-handed starter
You may know him from: Spent parts of four seasons as a Major League starter and three seasons as a swingman
Chances of making the Phillies out of Spring Training: C-
Chances of making the Phillies in 2015: B
Anticipated 2015 starting level: Starter in Lehigh Valley
With a 43-36 career mark in 137 appearances, 106 starts, Slowey is a bonafide Major League veteran. Slowey has had varying degrees of success, the bulk of which coming from 2008 through 2010 where he posted a 35-20 record with a 4.36 ERA with the Minnesota Twins. After missing a large chunk of the 2012 season, and missing Major League time completely in that season, Slowey made 37 appearances across 2013 and 2014 for the Miami Marlins.
Slowey has had slightly more success against right-handers as might be expected and his advanced numbers, like FIP and xFIP, are better than his ERA would suggest. While his 6.7 K/IP isn’t anything to write home about, his 1.51 BB/9 IP is one of the best in the Majors from 2007 through 2014, only behind Koji Uehara, Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera, and Cliff Lee in that time period. Keeping runners off the base paths will be important with what is anticipated to be among baseball’s worst defenses and Slowey could do that from “limiting walks” perspective but may struggle with his seventh-worst (from ’07-’14) GB%.
Slowely isn’t a pitcher that will get fans excited but he has the potential to hold down the fort and solidify the rotation from the fifth spot. It would not surprise me if Slowey makes the Phillies out of Spring Training, but like any non-roster invitee, his path is complicated by the full 40-man roster. Slowey’s grade to make the team out of camp would be higher if the 40-man roster was not presently full.