Kevin Slowey missed the final three months of last season after wrist surgery to, as he describes it, “cut down some tendons and pull out some tissue and bones that were no longer necessary and just kind of floating around in there.”
His recovery process included around four months of rehab, but even now Slowey told David Dorsey of the Fort Myers News Press that the two screws surgically inserted into his wrist may keep him from ever feeling the same:
I don’t know that I’m going to ever feel the same like I did before. But that’s OK. You know, I’ve got two screws in my wrist. So I shouldn’t expect to feel like I felt before. … I hope that things go well. I expect to go out and compete. If things don’t go the way I want them to, it won’t be because of any lack of preparation or lack of effort.
Prior to the wrist injury Slowey went 26-15 with a 4.36 ERA and fantastic 239-to-48 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 312 innings spread over 54 career starts to emerge as a crucial long-term part of the Twins’ rotation at age 25, so obviously that quote is kind of a buzz kill.
Slowey tends to be relatively blunt when interviewed, so hopefully he was painting an overly pessimistic picture of his status, but even late last season there were rumblings about the screws hurting his range of motion. For a pitcher who relies on pinpoint control, that sounds scary.