- The list of Twins needs heading into Friday's non-waiver trade deadline grew Monday, when they learned that starting pitcher Kevin Slowey will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist.
The Twins were focusing their trade efforts primarily on relievers and middle infielders, though even before getting the Slowey news, they inquired about Toronto's Roy Halladay and Seattle's Jarrod Washburn.
Halladay did not include the Twins on his list of teams for which he would waive his no-trade clause, according to a person familiar with the talks. And though the Twins came close to a deal for Washburn last August, they aren't optimistic this time.
Rookie Anthony Swarzak is now entrenched in a rotation that includes Glen Perkins, Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano and Nick Blackburn. Perkins, for one, has mentioned shoulder concerns, and if the Twins need another starter, their best options reside in their bullpen, with R.A. Dickey, Bobby Keppel and Brian Duensing.
Slowey, 25, went 10-3 with a 4.86 ERA this season and has been on the disabled list since July 4. He had been trying to rehab the injury but had another setback Friday.
Slowey's ERA isn't anything special, but he's got the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the rotation. He will be missed. Swarzak, his replacement, has a fine ERA but doesn't seem to have the skills to support it. Not yet, anyway. Meanwhile, Liriano keeps getting roughed up; when he's not walking guys, he's giving up home runs.
It's too early for the Twins to give up. They're only three games out of first place, they're trailing two teams (Detroit and Chicago) that have plenty of issues of their own, and any club featuring Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer has a puncher's chance. But considering the Twins' huge holes in the middle of the infield, the outfield and now in the rotation, you wonder how long the center can hold.