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  • Bromberg, Slama Look to Return from Lost Seasons

    Following a 99-loss season, the Twins had many more transactions than most offseasons. A couple of those transactions may have been considered minor to most, but definitely stood out to me. Shortly following the season, the Twins chose to designate reliever Anthony Slama for assignment. He was removed from the 40 man roster, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Rochester. When the Twins announced the additions to their 40 man roster in late November, they also announced that they had removed David Bromberg from the 40 man roster. Like Slama, he cleared waivers and was outrighted to Rochester.

    Although I personally disagreed with both decisions, the Twins were ultimately proven correct in these decisions. In each case, all 29 other major league teams could have claimed them for nothing and chose not to. Because neither has been in the organization long enough to be considered six-year minor league free agents, once they cleared waivers, the Twins were able to send them to the minor leagues. Because each team could have claimed him for nothing, it was unlikely that a team would pay $50,000 to select them in the Rule 5.

    In January, the Twins announced that a dozen pitchers would be non-roster invites to spring training, competing with 22 pitchers on the 40-man roster, including Joel Zumaya and Rule 5 pick Terry Doyle. However, David Bromberg and Anthony Slama were not invited to big league camp. In other words, after years of successful pitching in the Twins organization, it took one injury-riddled season for each to seemingly be removed from the Twins short-term plans. I would suggest that Twins fans should not forget about these two talented right-handers.


    Bromberg was the Twins 32nd round pick in 2005 out of Palisades High School. He didnít sign, but instead he went to Santa Ana College and signed with the Twins early in 2006 and a Draft-and-Follow. His career started out well right from the start:
    ∑ In 2006, he went 3-3 with a 2.66 ERA in the GLC.
    ∑ In 2007, he was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. For Elizabethton, he went 9-0 with a 2.78 ERA and led the league with 81 strikeouts (in 58.1 innings).
    ∑ In 2008, he led all of minor league baseball with 177 strikeouts (in 150 innings) with the Beloit Snappers.
    ∑ In 2009, he was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year. He went 13-4 with a 2.70 ERA. He led the league with 148 strikeouts in 153.1 innings.
    ∑ In 2010, he moved up to New Britain and went 5-5 with a 3.62 ERA in 17 starts. His strikeout rate to 5.9 K/9 (it had never been below 8.7 K/9 previously). He moved up to Rochester where he went 1-4 in nine starts. However, he posted a 3.98 ERA, a career-low 1.15 WHIP and struckout 8.1 per nine innings.
    ∑ Following the 2010 season, Bromberg was an easy choice to add to the Twins 40 man roster (along with Joe Benson, Chris Parmelee and Rene Tosoni).
    ∑ Bromberg had a nice, albeit brief, showing at big league camp in 2011 and began the season back with the New Britain Rock Cats.
    ∑ Unfortunately, in a late-April start, he was hit in the forearm by a line drive. He broke his ulna and after surgery, he did not pitch again until late in the season.


    Like Bromberg, Slama spent two years at Santa Ana College. He then went to the University of San Diego. Following his junior year, the Twins made him their 39th round draft pick in 2006. He didnít sign, and instead pitched his senior season at USD. However, before the 2007 draft, he signed with the Twins. Like Bromberg, Slama has found success at every level since:
    After signing, he went to Elizabethton and recorded four saves in six appearances. He struckout ten in 7.1 innings.
    ∑ He then moved up to Beloit where he was 1-1 with 10 saves and a 1.48 ERA in 24.1 innings. He struck out 39.

    ∑ He put up video game numbers in 2008 in Ft. Myers. He went 4-1 with 25 saves. He posted a 1.01 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. In 71 innings, he walked 24 and struck out 110 (13.9/9).
    ∑ In 2009, he moved up to New Britain where he went 4-2 with 25 saves. In 65.1 innings, he posted a 2.48 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He struckout 93 and walked 32. He ended the sdedason with 19 strikeouts in 14.2 innings in Rochester.
    ∑ He began 2010 with the Red Wings and in 65.1 innings, he walked 32 and struckout 74. He was 2-2 with 17 saves and a 2.20 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.

    ∑ On July 21, 2010, he pitched a scoreless inning against Cleveland. He gave up a hit, walked none and struck out two. He made four other appearances and struggled. In 4.2 innings, he gave up four runs on six hits and five walks. He did strikeout five.
    ∑ Slama then spent most of spring training fighting an elbow injury and he struggled in Rochester in April. In 27 games with the Red Wings, he posted his best Red Wings numbers. He had a 3-2 record with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. In 37 innings, he walked 16 and struckout 42. He made two appearances with the Twins in 2011. He threw 2.1 scoreless innings, gave up no hits, walked two and struckout three before being
    sent back down.
    ∑ His season was cut short when in late July an MRI revealed a flexor pronator muscle strain in his right elbow. He was shut down for the season.

    The 28-year-old Slama is not a flame-thrower. He sits between 90-92 with the fastball and many say he has a deceptive delivery. His stuff isnít off the charts, but his strikeout rates absolutely are. He has had control problems at time in the past, but his ability to get strikeouts has really helped him. In the meanwhile, the Twins have signed, claimed and draf
    ted several pitchers who throw in the mid-90s and have even less control and come nowhere near the strikeout numbers (or any of the numbers) that Slama has, even in the upper levels. All Slama has done is dominate at every level.

    On the other hand, 24-year-old Bromberg has also pitched well up to AA and in a short AAA stint. His fastball sits 88-91. He has a four-pitch mix. Just two seasons ago, he weighed in at over 260 pounds. He worked incredibly hard and got down to 210 pounds. That, work ethic, was often the question with Bromberg. No longer. He is one of the hardest workers in the organization.

    The concern with Slama remains the elbow, although to this point in the spring, his elbow is feeling very good. With Bromberg, he had a broken forearm, but it has healed. His injury was not elbow or shoulder related.

    2011 was a lost season for both Anthony Slama and David Bromberg. Both are no longer on the Twinsí 40 man roster. However, Slama will start the 2012 season in the Rochester bullpen where he should continue to dominate. Bromberg will be starting for the New Britain Rock Cats to start the 2012 season. In other words, both will start the 2012 season where they started the 2011 season. Itís possible that both of them will end up the season back on the 40 man roster, and potentially on the big league roster.

    This article was originally published in blog: Two Twins Minor League Pitchers Look Return after Lost Seasons started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I've never understood why Slama doesn't get more of a shot, given that he can make people miss bats. I'm hopeful he can stay healthy this year and gets a shot if someone else fails.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Particularly Anthony Slama. The guy does what a pitcher is supposed to do - get outs. No matter what else a pitcher does, if he gets outs, he should be promoted. The Twins, of all teams, should value outs over mph.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Never understood the animosity this team has for Slama. It is just really strange. I don't think Bromberg is really in that much danger. If he bounces back this season, he could be up in September.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      It has to be the walks. That's the only explanation that really makes sense. the twins philosophy is really against walking guys, and Slama has put a few guys on that way. I agree, he hasn't really gotten the chance his stats have suggested he deserves.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      I don't equate "not moving someone as quickly as someone else might" to "animosity." Looking at Seth's timeline for Slama, it looks to me like every year they moved him up a level. He started his pro career older than many guys do, so maybe his older age makes it seem like he moved slower than he did. On the other hand, as a reliever he was pitching fewer innings per year to "prove himself" than a starter would. And then he had an injury that stalled his progress last year. Again, it's possible he should have been advanced faster than he was, but I don't have the insight to know if that's true. I think jumping to the conclusion of "animosity" is a reach, though.
    1. whydidnt's Avatar
      whydidnt -
      I'm really hoping Bromberg bounces back. He certainly looked like a guy who might be able to help the Twins before his injury. Slama is a mystery to me. I think it's quite possible the Twins are right and he doesn't have the stuff to thrive in the majors. But when you consider the guys they have promoted instead of him the last few years, it really makes you wonder. It's not like Hoey, Burnett, Dumatriat, etc. have done anything anywhere to make you think they can get major league hitters out anywhere. If he comes back and pitches well at Rochester this year and the Twins still don't promote him, then I guess he ticked off Gardenhire or Ryan at some point...maybe he made a pass at one of their wives or something?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by jmlease1 View Post
      It has to be the walks. That's the only explanation that really makes sense. the twins philosophy is really against walking guys, and Slama has put a few guys on that way. I agree, he hasn't really gotten the chance his stats have suggested he deserves.
      And that explanation would be fine if they wouldn't have spent the last two-plus years signing and claiming guys who throw hard, yet walk even more. Guys like Esmerling Vasquez, Lester Oliveros, Jim Hoey are just some of the examples. It goes back to Juan Morillo. That's why it's surprising to me that a guy who is putting up the types of numbers that one would hope from those flame-throwers isn't given a longer look.
    1. @_2244's Avatar
      @_2244 -
      Last March during my spring training visit, I spent a day at the Twins complex while the A squad was playing a road game. As I was making the walk from Hammond Stadium down to the minor league complex, David Bromberg was walking that way as well. Asked him how he was doing, and he said, "not so good." He then told me that he had just received word that he was going to start the 2011 season back at AA New Britain. Guy was absolutely crushed, and he told me how he had "ripped up AA" and made a good showing at AAA down the stretch in 2010. So starting at AA New Britain in 2011 was a tough hop for him. Seems like a good dude, hope he's able to have a bounce-back year and maybe even a cup of coffee in the bigs this summer.
    1. Steer's Avatar
      Steer -
      My feeling on these two, Salama and Bromberg, has mainly to do with the successful philosophy the Twins had toward their bench and bullpen up until last year. Their formula for reserve bench players worked year after year: good fielding, versatile, speed. Bullpen would consistantly be geared more towards control than anything else, and also a consistant idea that they could pick up a suitable reliever via farm system, trade, waiver, ect. when needed. They had a very good track record of doing this until last year in both departments. Everything snowballed. I guess you could say, if given enough time, all flaws will be exposed. I guess I hope these two are in the Twins plans and they give them a shot sometime to see what they can do at the major league level.
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