After a tense Spring Training, it looks the Indians Opening Day roster is finally intact. Nick Camino of WTAM reported Wednesday morning that Josh Tomlin will be headed to AAA, making Carlos Carrasco the final pitcher in the Tribe starting rotation. The Indians also announced on Wednesday that Blake Wood and Scott Atchison will be filling the final two spots in the bullpen.
The race for the 5th starting position has been a storyline all spring and at one point included five different candidates. The field was shaved down to just two heading into the final week of Spring Training. Tomlin and Carrasco both had their ups and their downs, but in the end it was Carrasco who won the job.
In just over 20 innings pitched on the spring, Tomlin struck out 19, allowed 8 earned runs and pitched to the tune of a 3.54 ERA.
Carrasco, on the other hand, accumulated a 3-1 record on the spring, striking out 16 in 15.2 innings pitched, and allowed just 1 home run and three walks. The one stat that does not help Carrasco’s cause is his 5.17 ERA, which was partly inflated by his rough outing against the Oakland A’s (2.2 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 2 BB).
In the end, it was a battle between two very different pitchers. If the Indians go with Tomlin, they get consistency, in-game endurance and predictability. If the Indians go with Carrasco, they get better “stuff”, but have to deal with his mental approach and his inconsistency. As one of our followers on Twitter pointed out, Carrasco will probably have a few games in which he looks dominating, a few where he gets taken out in the first or second inning, and then a lot of mediocre/decent games. His first start will be an interesting one to watch, as he will be the starting pitcher for the home-opener against the Minnesota Twins.
In other roster news on Wednesday, instead of Tomlin going to the bullpen, it was Blake Wood who filled out the final spot in the ‘pen. Scott Atchison will join him as the final two arms in relief. Wood had a very strong spring campaign, pitching to a 0.93 ERA, while striking out 11 in 9.2 innings pitched. Atchison, at 37 years of age, will provide a veteran presence in the bullpen after an impressive spring showing as well. In 8 inning pitched, the righty allowed 2 earned runs on 7 hits, just 1 walk and accumulated a 2.25 ERA. Career-wise, Atchison posts a 3.64 ERA with a 0.9 HR/9IP ratio.
By Jay Cannon
Image credit to: clevelandindians.com