By Joe Christensen
As longtime readers of this blog might remember, I was fixated on Kevin Slowey’s performances last season for Class AAA Rochester.
He was named International League Pitcher of the Year after going 10-5 with a 1.89 ERA with five complete games and one shutout. His strikeouts-to-walks were 107-to-18.
Slowey doesn’t have an overpowering fastball or one particular off-speed pitch that dazzles. When he tossed a complete-game victory over the Royals on May 29, extending their losing streak to 11 games, Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski mused:
His name is Slowey, for crying out loud. Unless the Royals find a pitcher named “Hangingcurvey” this was about as good a chance as they would get.
Posnanski, who might be the best in our whole business, would be quick to recognize now that Slowey is performing much the way his minor-league track record suggested he would. In his past four starts, Slowey is 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA.
All four starts were against NL teams: @ Milwaukee, Arizona, @ San Diego, Milwaukee. But try letting these combined numbers sink in for a moment: 29 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB, 24 K.
After his first major league shutout Sunday, Slowey was asked how it compared to the many dominant performances he had in the minors.
“Everybody’s a lot better,” he said. “They jump on your mistakes a lot more. But at the same time, the fielders behind you are much better. We made some great plays in center field. Something as a team we’re starting to get used to, and it’s almost unfair because [Carlos Gomez] makes highlight-reel catches every day.”
Note: Head to La Velle’s blog this afternoon for tonight’s starting lineups.