CLEVELAND -- It is no secret that Indians manager Terry Francona likes to carry as many relievers as possible throughout the course of a season. With rosters expanded in September, the manager has even more arms at his disposal.
Before Wednesday's game against the Tigers, Francona regained one more relief option after Cleveland activated right-hander Josh Tomlin from Major League Baseball's paternity list. With Tomlin back in the mix, the Indians have 11 relievers in their crowded 'pen.
Francona said he feels the group has a good mix of pitchers that will enable him to keep guys fresh down the stretch.
"You never really want to get to September and have an issue," he said, "where you're pitching somebody too much, because that shouldn't happen. At the same time, you don't want guys just sitting down there. I think we've got it balanced pretty well."
Tomlin was placed on the paternity list Sunday.
In 22 games (16 starts) this season, the 29-year-old Tomlin has gone 6-8 with a 4.40 ERA and 94 strikeouts against 12 walks in 102 1/3 innings. Following a three-month stay in the rotation, Tomlin was moved to the bullpen in early August. Since the move, the righty has turned in a 1.59 ERA in six appearances, including one spot start.
Tomlin joins right-handers Cody Allen, Scott Atchison, Bryan Shaw, C.C. Lee, Bryan Price, Austin Adams and Zach McAllister in the Tribe's bullpen. The Indians' relief corps also includes lefties Marc Rzepczynski, Nick Hagadone and Kyle Crockett.
Quote to note
"We enjoy it. I knew when I came here that that would be part of the fun of the challenge, as opposed to maybe going out and signing [other players]. I was really looking forward to that. When you can see young guys come up and mature and get better, come through in situations, see how they handle it, it's really cool. It's a really fun part of the job."
-- Francona, on using young players down the stretch
• Indians right fielder David Murphy (on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique) was scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment (five innings) for Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday night. The Clippers were set to open a best-of-five series with Triple-A Durham in the International League semifinals.
• Double-A Akron was scheduled to begin a best-of-five Eastern League playoff series with Richmond on Wednesday, while low-A Lake County was slated to open a best-of-three Midwest League postseason set with South Bend. Cleveland's Arizona League Rookie affiliate captured the AZL championship on Monday.
• Dating back to the first All-Star Game in 1933, the Indians have posted a sub-3.00 ERA in the second half only three times: 2.49 in 1954, 2.88 in 1968 and 2.82 in 1972. Entering Wednesday's action, Cleveland had a 2.89 second-half ERA (fourth-lowest in the Majors).