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Twins sign Eppley to Minors deal, release Slama

Twins sign Eppley to Minors deal, release Slama

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Twins sign Eppley to Minors deal, release Slama

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins released Triple-A reliever Anthony Slama on Thursday and signed right-hander Cody Eppley to a Minor League deal, assigning him to Rochester to replace Slama on the roster.

Slama, 29, excelled in the Minor Leagues, posting a 1.99 ERA with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings in six seasons heading into this year. But he dealt with a lower back strain this season and had a 13.50 ERA in 14 appearances with Rochester.

Despite Slama's success in the Minors, he only pitched seven innings with the Twins with short stints in the Majors in 2010 and '11. He was a candidate to get called up last year but suffered a broken fibula on a comebacker in early June and missed eight weeks before returning to Rochester late in the season.

"He's had some injuries," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He had some arm problems. When he brought him up here, he couldn't really hold a runner. He was really slow to home plate and they were running all over him. So that's why he was sent down the first time he came up. But he needed some things to work on."

Eppley, 27, has some big league experience with a 4.61 ERA in 76 career appearances with the Rangers and Yankees. He posted a 3.33 ERA last season in 59 games with the Yankees.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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