Cleveland Indians: Josh Tomlin must be better this time around

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(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians fans watched Josh Tomlin get shelled in his first start of the season. He must do much better tonight or risk losing his spot.

Cleveland Indians fans didn’t have a great viewing experience the last time Josh Tomlin took the mound.

Tomlin got absolutely destroyed in a 13-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. He gave up four home runs for a total of eight earned runs in only three innings of work.

A fair excuse may be a minor injury Tomlin was dealing with, according to Terry Francona.

That doesn’t give the veteran pitcher a free pass, but we can agree he deserves another chance. Whether that is his final chance depends on how he does tonight against the Tigers.

If any of the other four pitchers in the rotation had a horrible start, we wouldn’t be talking about a job being lost. However, things are different with Tomlin, who sits in the final spot of the rotation with both Ryan Merritt and Danny Salazar on the disabled list.

Tomlin isn’t in danger of losing his job to Salazar this month, but Merritt could be ready to return before the end of the month. He either needs to be on the team or be let go, where he would likely be claimed by another team.

Merritt isn’t someone who stands out as a future ace, but the team may want to invest in his potential over what they have seen from Tomlin, who has been with the team since 2010.

The Indians are usually a patient organization, but Merritt’s situation complicates things. If he was able to be sent to Columbus, he would surely be there right now. Unfortunately, a tough decision must be made.

Tomlin can put all this conversation to rest with a solid start tonight and another one later this week. Francona loves his veterans and may not want to part with Tomlin if he thinks he has a solid year in him. That leaves Merritt as the odd man out, but that is how the business goes sometimes.

Next: Corey Kluber remains on another level

Here is to hoping that Tomlin’s back was the reason he looked so bad in his first start.

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