Tomlin Continues Climb To Cleveland





CLEVELAND—Righthander Josh Tomlin went from not even on the 40-man roster to an emergency starter against the Yankees in a blink of the eye.

"Before my first game I kept thinking, my first major league pitch is going to be against Derek Jeter," Tomlin said.

Tomlin, 25, was thrown right into the fire after going 8-4, 2.68 at Triple-A Columbus, and he was equal to the job.

Utilizing pinpoint command of a sinker, cutter and changeup, Tomlin outdueled former Tribe ace C.C. Sabathia, handing the lefthander his first loss in 12 starts. In doing so, Tomlin allowed one run (let in by the bullpen) on three hits over seven strong innings to earn the win.

Tomlin pitched his second game on short rest in Toronto after the Indians traded Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals and limited the Blue Jays to one run in 5 1/3 innings.

"The kid can pitch," manager Manny Acta said. "I'm not going to put him on a pedestal after two outings because this is a very humbling game. But there is a place for guys like him. He throws strikes and he's very poised. (So far), I really like what I've seen."

Tomlin proved human in his third start against at Boston when he dished up a grand slam to Adrian Beltre to suffer his first major league loss.

"In my three starts, I haven't changed my approach at all," Tomlin said. "I'm trying to attack hitters the same way."

Even in the minors Tomlin's path was an uphill battle after the Indians made him a 19th-round pick in 2006. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder  from Texas Tech is a location pitcher who doesn't wow scouts with his stuff.

Now Tomlin starts all over at the big league level, still having to prove he belongs with each outing.

SMOKE SIGNALS

• Catcher Carlos Santana had successful left knee surgery to stabilize the outside of his left knee while repairing his lateral collateral ligament. Santana, who suffered the injury in a play at the plate against Boston, is expected to be out four to six months.

• Low Class A Lake County outfielder Delvi Cid led all of minor league baseball with 61 stolen bases, which topped the franchise mark of 47. Cid, 20, has been successful in 82 percent of his attempts, having been caught 13 times, and was hitting .256/.312/.303 in 112 games.