CLEVELAND -- Josh Tomlin's comeback from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow is officially complete. The only step remaining in the pitcher's return from injury is to reach the big league stage again with the Indians.
Cleveland activated Tomlin from the 60-day disabled list on Sunday and optioned him to Triple-A Columbus, where he will finish out the Minor League season in the rotation. Tomlin is a candidate to rejoin the Tribe's pitching staff after baseball's active rosters expand to 40 players on Sept. 1.
Tomlin's activation comes three days after the one-year anniversary of his surgery.
"It's a relief, it really is," Tomlin said via text message. "Obviously, the goal is to get back to the big leagues and compete and try to help that team win games as much as you can. But it does feel good to be off the 60-day [DL] without any hiccups or setbacks to this point. I feel very fortunate in that aspect."
Tomlin went under the knife on Aug. 22 last season, after pitching through discomfort in his throwing arm. In his 21 appearances for Cleveland in 2012, the 28-year-old right-hander went 5-8 with a 6.36 ERA. It was a drastic contrast to his breakout showing in 2011, when Tomlin posted a 12-7 record to go along with a 4.25 ERA in 26 games for the Indians.
Over parts of three Major League campaigns, Tomlin has gone 23-19 with a 4.95 ERA in 59 outings.
In eight Minor League rehab games since returning to the mound, Tomlin has fashioned a 2.08 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP. Across 17 1/3 innings, the right-hander has scattered 12 hits, piled up 12 strikeouts and issued no walks between stops in Rookie ball, Class A, Double-A and Triple-A.