Last night, over at Twinkie Town I was commenting a bit in the game thread, when someone brought up Mauer and Morneau going to the All-Star game. Both of those guys should go and will go, so we’ll leave that one alone, but someone else commented that if Kevin Slowey can get to 11 or 12 wins he should definitely be making the trip to St. Louis.
Currently, Kevin Slowey sits at 9-2 with a 4.23 ERA. Adjusting for park effects and all that good stuff, Slowey’s ERA is slightly below league average (97 ERA+). Slowey’s FIP sits at 4.01, a shade better than his 4.23 ERA*. I honestly thought there would be an even bigger gap, seeing some of the defensive lineups the Twins have put out there this season (Brendan Harris at short, a Young/Cuddyer/Kubel outfield), but no matter. Currently, his FIP of 4.01 places him 17th in the AL. However, amongst those players, Slowey is 2nd only to Roy Halladay in K/BB, mainly because he doesn’t walk anyone (1.14 per 9 innings). He doesn’t strike a lot of guys out either (6.98/9), and with some of the defenses the Twins trot out, that is a huge problem (seriously Gardy, Span/Gomez/Someone; it’s not that hard).
When you take all of these things into account, Slowey’s WAR (wins above replacement) is 1.4, tied with, among others, Matt Garza and Nick Blackburn. It’s a good value, but it also places him tied for 19th in the American League. Kevin Slowey is probably the ace of the Twins staff, but because he doesn’t strike a lot of guys out, and doesn’t get a lot of ground balls, his value is depressed and he should not be an All-Star.
* For an explanation of FIP, go here