It's a travesty. It's a downright shame. Why is minor league closer Anthony Slama still just that—a minor leaguer?
In six seasons spanning from rookie ball to Triple-A Rochester, Slama has put up a ridiculous 1.99 ERA. He's racked up 100 saves and 446 strikeouts in 325 innings. His career WHIP sits at a cool 1.089.
The Twins have always preferred pitch-to-contact pitchers, but even the Twins cannot deny Slama's 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
The crazy thing? His stats hold up at every level. There is no reason to believe that this 26-year-old career minor leaguer can't get major league hitters out.
He hasn't even had the opportunity.
Since being drafted in 2006, Slama has tossed a grand total of seven innings at the major league level.
Is it the mentality of the front office? Players that haven't gelled with the "Twins way" have found their tickets out of Minnesota in the past (see: Delmon Young), but there clearly isn't anything wrong with Mr. Slama.
Maybe he's trying to date Bill Smith's daughter. I'm grasping at straws at this point.
Even with current setup man Jared Burton on a tear and closer Glen Perkins set to entrench himself in the closer's role, there should be room enough on any major league roster for a guy like Anthony Slama.
So here is my message to the Twins front office: It's now or never. Give Slama the major league shot he deserves or trade him and give him a chance (where he will most likely succeed) elsewhere. The least we could do is receive some legit talent in return.
An arm like this wasting away in the minors does nobody any good. Not the Twins, not Anthony Slama, not the fans.
It's time for this young closer to make his jump to the majors—for good.