"We thought he could wiggle his way through a Triple-A lineup -- because he's smart -- and we didn't want to tax him a lot," Francona said on Saturday. "Hopefully he can regain some of the sharpness he had on his pitches like we saw in Seattle. Because with that, we saw what he can do."
In June, Tomlin worked a brilliant complete game one-hitter against the Mariners but has since posted a 6.45 ERA and allowed six home runs over his last four starts. In addition to the pitching struggles, workload has also been a concern for Tomlin, who missed almost all of 2013 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Tomlin has already logged 126 2/3 innings between Cleveland and Columbus this season. But with Justin Masterson now a member of the Cardinals and McAllister still working through confidence issues on the mound, the Indians will gladly welcome Tomlin back to the rotation if he can regain his effectiveness.
"He's about as accountable as any person you're going to meet," Francona said. "To say we're excited he's coming back is an understatement. It's hard not to pull for him."
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.