The Indians have shut down the right-hander for the rest of the season, opting to start Mitch Talbot for one of the games in Saturday's doubleheader, rather than deploy Tomlin, who completed his rehab from right elbow soreness with a simulated game on Tuesday.
"We've seen enough of Tomlin," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "If he's healthy, it makes no sense to push him."
Tomlin, who has not pitched since Aug. 24, threw 45 pitches to hitters between games during Tuesday's twin bill. Acta said the club's plan called for Tomlin to return to a big league mound only if the team was still in contention. The Indians wanted Tomlin to finish his recovery process before informing him his season was over. That way, they could ensure he was fully healthy before the offseason arrived.
"Once we fell out of the race, we were not just going to call off his rehab," Acta said. "After he finished everything and felt well, it makes no sense for him to pitch another game."
Tomlin maintained throughout the course of his recovery that he wanted to pitch again before the end of the season, regardless of the team's standing.
"We had to have a conversation with him to convince him that shutting him down was the right thing to do," Acta said.
Though disappointed he will not be handed the ball Saturday, Tomlin is relieved that he will enter the offseason injury-free.
"The positive was feeling good today after that simulated game yesterday," Tomlin said. "Right now, I just want to be healthy going into the offseason."
Tomlin's loss is Talbot's gain, as the right-hander will get the nod on Saturday. Talbot was last seen in Cleveland when he served up eight runs and 11 hits in a loss to Toronto on July 8. He then landed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain before being optioned to Triple-A.
"It was a demotion," Talbot said. "It's kind of something to get you going. You realize you have some stuff to work on and you kind of get humbled a little bit and get going on fixing things."
Talbot posted a 4-2 record and 4.26 ERA in 12 appearances (seven starts) for the Clippers, who captured the Triple-A championship on Tuesday. He said he made "a lot" of mechanical changes while at Columbus.
"You're wondering if you're ever going to get it back or if you're never going to be good again," Talbot said. "But we figured things out and I have been good again."