Carrasco named fifth starter, Tomlin to Columbus
Indians manager Terry Francona informed his players this morning of the final decisions for the opening day roster, and named Carlos Carrasco as the fifth starter. Josh Tomlin was in the mix for the final rotation spot, but will go to Triple-A Columbus so he can continue to start and be on call for when the Indians have a need in the starting rotation.
Carrasco was out of options which weighed the decision in his favor as had he not been out of options it is very possible that Tomlin may have been named to the final rotation spot. With Justin Masterson nearing free agency and the Indians needing starting pitching alternatives, the Indians need to exhaust every opportunity with Carrasco as a starter and will use the first month or two of the season to see once and for all if Carrasco can be a part of their rotation.
Tomlin will be the first option the Indians call upon this season, and there will be ample opportunities for him to return to Cleveland as injuries and performance will likely push him into the rotation on a short or long term basis at some point. With the uncertainty of Carrasco as well as three other starters in Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister and Danny Salazar who have never pitched a full Major League season, he could get an opportunity at some point.
With Carrasco in the rotation and Tomlin sent to Columbus, the Indians also finalized the last two spots on the roster naming Blake Wood and Scott Atchison as their seventh and eighth bullpen options.
Wood has an option remaining so could have been sent to Columbus to start the season, but he has a nice spring and his power arm and upside is exciting and something the Indians want to see from the outset of the season. Atchison will be the long man and a utility pitcher who eats a lot of the middle innings in games a starter does not make it through five or six innings or pitch in games that are out of hand to save innings for other relievers. He is not on the 40-man roster, so another roster move will need to be made to add him.
The Indians have to add Atchison, Jason Giambi and Nyjer Morgan to the roster this weekend, and with no player that appears to fit a placement on the 60-day DL the Indians will need to designate three players for assignment. The players that appear in danger of being DFAed are Colt Hynes, Frank Herrmann, Scott Barnes, Preston Guilmet and Justin Sellers.
I also agree it doesn't seem in Tomlin's nature to gripe publicly (and I hope the item I saw is only bull), but I would have lost my rent over his arbitration situation. I was stunned he & the Tribe ended up in front of the arbitrator.... Didn't think he would have been there earlier this year.
Any comment on this Tony (truth, Tribe now looking to move him)??
Agree with Tony that Tomlin is the #1 option and will continue to be. Marcum is on the Dice-K track, long road to go but could make himself viable if he proves himself. Bauer will depend on how "together" he is in Cbus, with House either above or below him depending. Anderson needs to establish himself.
A lot say he's another Salazar, I like him but just don't see that sort of upside. Maybe more in the Kluber/McAllister range when all is said and done. And that's not bad at all. Definitely a prospect that with a good showing could get a call up in September.
As to these final roster spots, a lot of them are quite temporary what with Bourn and Giambi on the DL. My guess is Chiz gets sent down when Giambi is ready to go but more curious who goes down when Bourn is ready. First thought is Morgan but perhaps its Wood? Can't see them just cutting Atchison straight away. Of course performance will dictate a lot of that too in that if one or the other is pitching or playing well or poorly, that may help direct the decision.
My guess is Chiz and Wood are not long for the roster at this time.
1. Josh Tomlin
2. Trevor Bauer
3. Shawn Marcum (will become #1 option if or when healthy)
4. Cody Anderson
5. TJ House