Why Josh Tomlin Deserves an Invite to the All-Star Game

Geoff EstesCorrespondent IJune 23, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 17:  Josh Tomlin #43 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Progressive Field on June 17, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Josh Tomlin got his ninth win Wednesday night when the Indians defeated the Colorado Rockies 4-3 at Progressive Field.  Tomlin went 6.1 innings, giving up three runs.  The only hitter in the Rockies order who figured him out was Ty Wiggington, who had two home runs and three RBI. 

While not spectacular, Tomlin did what he has done all year—win the game.  With nine wins, Tomlin is tied for the most wins in the AL with six other pitchers.  In one of his no-decisions, against Kansas City in April, Tomlin left after 7.1 innings with a 3-1 lead. He could very easily have 10 wins currently.

His ERA is not eye-popping, but it is a very respectful 3.95.  He has gone at least five innings in all of his 15 starts.  His 1.06 WHIP has him tied for ninth in that category.  Tomlin's component ERA is 12th in the AL at 2.97.

While those numbers are impressive, they are not necessarily All-Star numbers.  But in Tomlin's case, the numbers do not tell the whole story of his first half. 

Perhaps no pitcher in the American League has given his team a better chance to win in each start.  The most runs Tomlin has given up all year is six, which he did three games in a row.  Six runs isn't great, but in all of those games, the runs were spread out over five or six innings.

Tomlin has re-righted the ship and has won his last two starts, against Pittsburgh and Colorado, by giving up four runs combined in 13 innings pitched. 

Tomlin should still get three starts (@ Arizona, vs. NYY, vs. Toronto) before the All-Star break.  If he wins two of those three starts, he would end the first half with 11 wins. 

If Tomlin continues to pitch at least five or six innings an outing, keep his WHIP around one and keeps his ERA under four, it would be awfully difficult to keep him from going to Arizona in three weeks as an 11-game winner.

Josh Tomlin may never win a Cy Young Award, or even be the ace of a staff, but so far in 2011, he has pitched himself into an All-Star appearance.