Rockies acquire Kevin Slowey from Twins for Daniel Turpen

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UPDATE: Now that the Rule 5 draft is over the player to be named later has been revealed as Double-A right-hander Daniel Turpen, a side-arming reliever who’s a marginal prospect at best.

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Kevin Slowey, who fell out of favor in Minnesota after being demoted from the rotation to the bullpen in spring training, has been traded to Colorado for a player to be named later.

Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the deal will become official later today.

Slowey was a solid mid-rotation starter for the Twins from 2007-2010, throwing 473 innings with a 4.41 ERA, but he was perhaps unfairly dumped from the rotation in favor of weaker options and then balked at becoming a full-time reliever.

Minnesota has been shopping him since March, so the player to be named later figures to be of minimal value. Slowey is under team control for two more seasons and will likely be in line for around $3 million via the arbitration process despite spending most of the season on the disabled list or in the minors and going 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA in 59 innings for the Twins.

When healthy and happy in his role Slowey is very capable of throwing 175 innings with a four-something ERA and excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios, but as an extreme fly-ball pitcher without overpowering raw stuff Coors Field is probably the worst possible home for him.

Matt Carpenter hit a standup bunt double

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The wave of defensive shifts we’ve seen over the past few years has led to a lot of armchair hitting coaches demanding that players bunt to beat it. This is easier said than done, however.

The shift happens because certain hitters tend to pull the ball. Certain hitters tend to pull the ball because pulling the ball is what happens when one gets a strong, quick swing on a pitch one identifies early and which one endeavors to send as far away from home plate as possible. Which is to say that pulling is a skill that is good to have and which is strongly selected for among hitters.

In light of that, “why not just bunt to beat the shift” takes are kind of lazy. Bunting is hard! And it is not a thing guys who get shifted a lot are good at. Most of the time asking a player to do a thing he is not well-equipped to do is a bad idea. Indeed, a hitter voluntarily going away from his strength is something the defense would much prefer.

Most of the time anyway.

Last night Matt Carpenter made those armchair hitting coaches happy by laying down a bunt to beat the shift. And he laid it down so well that he ended up with a standup double:

One batter later Carpenter scored on a Starlin Castro error.

The shift giveth and the shift taketh away.