The Indians starting pitching hasn’t been a real issue during the first 45 games of the season.
Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco have been their usual selves or even better than imagined but the fifth spot in the rotation was a cause for concern.
Josh Tomlin has struggled mightily and some thought there was confusion when Indians manager Terry Francona said Adam Plutko would start on Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs. There was no confusion though.
Plutko will get his second career major league start on Wednesday and it looks as though he’ll be joining the rotation for the time being. Tomlin is going to transition into the bullpen.
Tomlin is 0-4 with a 7.84 ERA in seven appearances this season (six starts) and just hasn’t looked the same as he did in the last few seasons. Five of his starts he’s given up at least four earned runs and has given up an American League high 15 home runs.
He has experience as a reliever with seventeen career appearances. As a reliever, Tomlin is 2-2 with a 7.76 ERA and eight games finished.
I think when looking at this situation and with Tomlin being 33 years old and likely towards the end of his run with the Indians organization, this could be a last ditch effort by the club to find a role for him. Tomlin has been with the organization since they drafted him in the 19th round of the 2006 MLB Draft.
As for Adam Plutko, there’s hope that he can come in and lock down the rotation as the fifth man.
Plutko has been with the organization since they drafted him in the 11th round of the 2013 Draft and prior to this season he made two appearances as a reliever during the 2016 season.
He was called up to the major league club on May 3 to start the second game of a doubleheader against Toronto. He went 7 1/3 innings giving up six hits, three earned runs (all solo home runs) and struck out six in his first career start.
In seven starts in Triple-A Columbus, Plutko is 4-3 with a 2.25 ERA, striking out 35 batters and only walking nine in 44 innings pitched.
It should be interesting to see if this switch will work out and with them starting it against the Chicago Cubs should be a very interesting test against a powerhouse ball club who we may see again in about five months.