Manager Terry Francona announced Saturday that Josh Tomlin will be taking the place of Carlos Carrasco in the starting rotation, beginning on Tuesday night against the Twins.
After a strong overall showing in Spring Training, Tomlin has done everything in his power to earn that fifth rotation spot, pitching to a 2-1 record and a strong 2.07 ERA with AAA Columbus. Tomlin has proven that he still retains that trait of consistently getting deep into games, averaging a 7.0 IP per start. Even better, he is coming right off of a complete game shutout, striking out 10 and allowing just 3 hits over those 9 innings. On the season, opponents are hitting just .185 off of Tomlin.
Even with how well Tomlin has been pitching lately, the move may come as a bit of a surprise to some, as Trevor Bauer has pitched equally, if not better, than Tomlin. In 4 starts with the Clippers, Bauer allowed just 4 total runs, giving him an ERA of 1.40 and a record of 3-0. Even better, Bauer showed great improvement in the area that he needed to work on the most: control. Bauer has allowed just seven walks and is currently boasting a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The former 3rd overall pick has also briefly proven his worth at the MLB level, going 6.0 IP with 1 ER, 4 H, and 8 SO in his one start with the Tribe Add this to his tremendous upside (still just 23 years old) and Bauer certainly makes a strong case for that rotation spot.
In the end, however, the Indians ended up going with Tomlin. He has shown some strong consistency this far into the season and that consistency should translate well to an Indians rotation that has struggled throughout the first month of the season. Tomlin’s scheduled start for Tuesday against the Twins will mark his first start in the MLB since July of 2012. It has been a long road for Tomlin, since he underwent Tommy John surgery late in that 2012 season, but he is finally back and has a great chance to bolster the performance of this rotation.