Kevin Slowey was a popular sleeper pick entering the 2009 season. In fact, he was so popular that by the time Opening Day rolled around, he wasn't really a "sleeper" at all.
Slowey went higher than I expected in each fantasy baseball draft I participated in, and if you asked just about any Twins fan which pitcher they expected to deliver a break-out performance this year, his was the name you'd almost always hear. But can a player really "break out" after posting a 3.99 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 123-to-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 160 1/3 innings? How much more are we expecting from Slowey. The pressure has been building for the 24-year-old to match some suddenly lofty expectations in just his second full season as a major-leaguer.
Now, this is not a major cause for concern. Being that Slowey tops out at about 90 mph on the radar gun, he's bound to have problems unless he's commanding his pitches to a tee. Most nights, he's able to do that. Last night, he wasn't, and the results weren't particularly pretty. I think we saw enough from Slowey last year and this spring to be confident that he'll bounce back with better command the next time around.
It's worth noting that this pitching rotation which figured to spit out Quality Start after Quality Start has yet to produce a single one through three games. We'll see if Glen Perkins can buck that trend today when he goes against Jarrod Washburn this afternoon.