With the Indians already desperate for some sort of starting pitching help, they can remove Josh Tomlin from 2013 consideration. The Tribe's right hander will undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday with famed doctor Lewis Yocum, according to the Indians' official Twitter feed. The pitcher nicknamed "My Little Cowboy" by Manny Acta had seemed to pitch through various levels of pain for most of the last two seasons, including being shut down last season for elbow pain. Now, the situation has to come to a head and Tomlin will miss the entire 2013 season.
For Tomlin, it's a disappointing finish to the 2012 season, a season that saw him go on the disabled list in May with a wrist injury and also a demotion to the bullpen. He finishes the year with a 5-8 record and a 6.36 ERA. Tomlin allowed 18 home runs in just 103.1 innings of work. His last outing on August 12 was a disaster, allowing seven runs to the Red Sox in just 1.1 innings of work. That will be the last we see of Tomlin until 2014.
That leaves the Indians to hope for Carlos Carrasco, currently recovering from the Tommy John surgery he had performed in August 2011. Carrasco will be expected to get back into the rotation as the Indians starting pitching depth is severely lacking. With Justin Masterson and Zach McAllister the only certainties to be in the 2013 rotation, barring injury, the Indians will have to find some starting arms. With Ubaldo Jimenez's performance this season, his 2013 option is not a guarantee. Guys like Corey Kluber, Chris Seddon, David Huff, and Carrasco will get strong looks in Spring Training. The Indians will also have to acquire a couple pitchers to put into the mix.
For now, the focus is on Tomlin, who showed flashes in 2010 and 2011 as guy with a lot of fortitude and a reliable #5 starter. It remains to be seen if the elbow issue was a major culprit in Tomlin's ineffectiveness, but we'll have to wait until 2014 to find out.