MINNEAPOLIS -- Indians starter Mitch Talbot is set to begin a gradual progression back to the Indians' pitching staff.
Cleveland announced on Monday that Talbot was scheduled to begin a 30-day Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Talbot, who opened this season as the Tribe's fifth starter, will initially work out of the Clippers' bullpen.
The Indians placed the 27-year-old Talbot on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain on Wednesday.
For the season, Talbot has gone 2-6 with a 6.33 ERA over 11 starts for the Indians. The right-hander has given up 81 hits, with 35 strikeouts and 24 walks over 58 1/3 innings pitched. Talbot was also sidelined for a little more than a month with a right elbow problem between April and May.
Over his past seven starts, Talbot went 0-5 with a 7.43 ERA, allowing a .353 opponents' batting average along the way. In his most recent outing on July 8, he gave up eight runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings of an 11-7 loss at home to the Blue Jays.
Talbot was initially replaced in the rotation by right-hander Jeanmar Gomez. On Monday, however, Cleveland optioned Gomez to Triple-A Columbus in favor of keeping lefty David Huff on the starting staff. Huff turned in seven shutout innings in a 5-2 win over the Twins in the first game of Monday's doubleheader.
Talbot, who went 10-13 with a 4.41 ERA as a rookie for the Tribe in 2010, is currently out of options, meaning the Indians are unable to send him to the Minor Leagues without first exposing him to waivers.