MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians could easily compliment Josh Tomlin on a job well done this season and shut the pitcher down for the remaining two weeks.
Instead, Cleveland is allowing Tomlin -- on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow issue -- to work through a throwing program with the goal of returning to the rotation before the end of the month. Indians manager Manny Acta said the injury is not severe enough to warrant pulling the plug on Tomlin's year.
"If a guy is ready to play, there's no sense in shutting them down," Acta said. "If you have any doubts -- be it a pitcher or anybody else -- that it's a really serious injury, that's when you shut the guy down."
Tomlin is thrilled to have the chance to make a comeback this season.
"I'm very eager to get out there," said the sidelined starter. "I just want to get out there and get back on the mound. That's why you play the game, is to be out there competing. Not having that edge about you on the mound amd trying to compete, it's been kind of frustrating."
Tomlin (12-7, 4.25 ERA) played catch in left field prior to Friday's game against the Twins at Target Field. The right-hander indicated that he is scheduled to throw off a mound in a bullpen session on Saturday. If all goes well in that workout, and the planned simulated game early next week in Cleveland, Tomlin could start against the Twins on Sept. 24.
Tomlin, who has no prior history with an elbow injury, landed on the DL with inflammation in his throwing elbow on Sept. 9. Tomlin has already completed one bullpen session without incident and has been feeling better than even he anticipated.
"It's been feeling great," Tomlin said. "It's been better than I expected, to be honest with you. I haven't had any kind of symptoms. The biggest thing for me is not having that feeling in the back of mind where I'm trying to be cautious with it and not let it go, trying to baby it a little bit.
"I haven't had that feeling at all yet. I'm going out there and throwing with everything I've got and it's been feeling good. That's a positive sign for me, for sure."