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Cleveland Indians: Is it time to remove Tomlin from the rotation?

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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians suffered another defeat at the hands of the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

Another day, another bad outing from Cleveland Indians righty Josh Tomlin. We’re a month into the season now and Tomlin hasn’t started to look any better. Now it’s time to wonder if he ever will.

In today’s game, Tomlin went six innings and gave up six runs on 10 hits including two long balls. He now has an 0-4 record with a 9.16 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP. Opponents have a .360 batting average against him. Those numbers are pitiful.

He’s pitched in as many games this season as Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger. But Bauer and Clevinger have over 30 innings pitched, while Tomlin is only at 18 and 2/3 innings. Also, in those 10+ extra innings Bauer and Clevinger have pitched, they’ve allowed 10 fewer earned runs in their games.

Tomlin is clearly the underachieving member of this starting rotation, but he wasn’t expected to be leading it. He was the fifth best starter anyways, no one thought he would pitch to a sub-3.00 ERA and that’s fine, he doesn’t have to. But he can’t pitch at an ERA above 9.00 either. That’s just unacceptable.

What can the Indians do about Tomlin?

The Cleveland Indians have three options they could choose for Tomlin. The first is that they keep him in the rotation. That option is looking less and less likely by the day. The second option is to move him to the bullpen. The third option is to designate him for assignment. Both the second and third options need to include adding someone to the rotation. The problem is, who are they going to add?

Related Story: Starting pitching is strong, but lacks depth

The Indians don’t have any good options available right now to immediately take Tomlin’s spot. Sure they could put Danny Salazar in there when he returns, but he’s not ready to come back yet. Ryan Merritt was another option in spring training for this rotation but he’s been out with arm fatigue and no one really knows how long it will take him to be ready.

This is the problem with the lack of depth the Indians have right now. They have four strong options they can trust every fifth day but Tomlin is not one of them. And for a team to be successful, even in a weak division, they need to be able to trust every single one of their starting pitchers.

So Tomlin won’t be removed from the rotation just yet. They can’t do it until they find another healthy option to put in his place. Until Salazar comes back, Tribe fans may just have to suffer through a few more Josh Tomlin starts.

Next: A look ahead to the MLB Draft

The Cleveland Indians have to find a way to either get Tomlin going or get him packing, because the way he’s been pitching this season cannot continue.

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