GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It can get lonely for a pitcher going through a long rehabilitation process. Right-hander Josh Tomlin knows the feeling after coming to Arizona five weeks ago to continue recovering from Tommy John surgery. Most of his teammates only recently arrived for Spring Training, and his wife is back home in Texas.
"I've got my dogs," Tomlin said.
Tomlin is also adjusting to his life as a Spring Training spectator after opening the past two seasons in the rotation. He underwent surgery in August, and he is likely going to be out of the picture for most, if not all, of this season.
His sights are set on being at full strength for 2014, but he was quick to express excitement over what the Indians could have in store this year.
"I'm definitely excited about this year," he said. "The guys we signed in the offseason, and the guys we've added that complement the group we already had, I feel like it's a good fit. I feel like the guys are going to go out there and play hard, and that's all you can really ask."
The 28-year-old Tomlin had his breakout season in 2011, when he went 12-7 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Last year he went 5-8 with a 6.36 ERA in 21 appearances, and posted a 13.86 ERA over his final 12 1/3 innings before being sidelined by injury.
Tomlin, who has advanced to throwing at a distance of 75 feet, is happy to be back around his teammates for Spring Training.
"I still feel like I'm a part of this team," he said, "even though I'm not going to be there for as much as I'd want to be there."