Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin will undergo an arthroscopic debridement of the AC joint in his right shoulder next Wednesday and will be sidelined three to four months, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (Twitter links). Tomlin had been optioned to Triple-A earlier this week, but that option has been rescinded, and he will instead open the season on the Major League disabled list, Bastian adds.
Tomlin entered Spring Training hoping to earn a spot in the Cleveland rotation, but the final two spots went to Zach McAllister and T.J. House following a likely season-ending elbow injury to offseason signee Gavin Floyd. Tomlin allowed four runs on 13 hits in just eight official innings this spring, though he also posted a nice 7-to-1 K/BB ratio in that small sample.
The news must be difficult for the 30-year-old Tomlin to take, as he missed the end of the 2012 season and all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Last year, he worked his way back to Cleveland and pitched to a 4.76 ERA in 104 innings, though his strikeout-to-walk numbers (career high 8.1 K/9 against just 1.2 BB/9) were the best of his career and led some to believe that he could be in for a much better season in 2015.
By being placed on the disabled list, Tomlin will accrue Major League service time — likely enough to push him over the four-year threshold. Depending on how much he pitches, it’s possible that the Indians could look at him as a non-tender candidate following the season. Tomlin agreed to a $1.5MM contract to avoid arbitration this winter, so his price tag won’t be exorbitant, but Cleveland’s limited payroll is well-known, and the team will be facing significant arbitration raises for Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Brandon Moss and Cody Allen, among others.