Cleveland Indians Top 25 in 2016: No. 17, Josh Tomlin

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Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (43) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox during game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (43) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox during game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /
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Our look at the Top 25 Cleveland Indians in 2016 continues with a look at the inconsistent, but still successful season had by Josh Tomlin.

The month of August had the potential to derail Josh Tomlin‘s career. He allowed 34 earned runs in six starts, allowing ten home runs and losing five decisions.

The horrible month took Tomlin out of the rotation, but like others who stepped up, Tomlin was thrust back into his starting role with the injuries to Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco looming over the team.

While some may not have the mental toughness to overcome such a bad month, Tomlin proved he is as tough as anyone. He allowed a total of five earned runs in his final four starts of the season, logging at least five innings in each game. A great start on the final day of the regular season allowed the Indians to host the ALDS against Boston.

Related Story: Top 25 in 2016: Zach McAllister

Tomlin benefitted from the absences of Carrasco and Salazar, but he made the most of the opportunity. Not only did he provide great pitching at the end of the regular season, but he had a great postseason.

His best outing came in Game 3 of the World Series, when he went 4 2/3 innings and allowed no runs. It was the first World Series game at Wrigley Field since baseball was invented, or at least that was how it was described every five minutes, and Tomlin did a great job to ruin the party in Chicago.

The worst outing for him came in Game 6, when a costly error gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead. He only made it through 2 1/3 innings in the 9-3 loss to the Cubs.

Aside from the month of August, Tomlin had a great season and deserves a spot in the rotation to start 2017. He will likely be in the fourth spot in the rotation at the outset of the rotation, and should be able to keep the role if he doesn’t suffer any major setbacks.

The Indians are once again going to need great starting pitching to make another postseason run, and Tomlin is a key part of the group. 2016 was the best season of his career, when factoring in his postseason success, so the extra confidence should help him in 2017.

Like much of the roster, Tomlin was not a star in 2016, but he did enough to sufficiently contribute to the overall success of the team.

Next: Should the Cleveland Indians Sign Edwin Encarnacion?

Be sure to check out the site tomorrow to see who comes in at No. 16.

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