Indians lose Tomlin, Brantley
The Cleveland Indians plugged one hole and had two more pop open.
On the day Jim Thome returned to replace Travis Hafner in the middle of Cleveland's injury-ravaged lineup, the Indians on Friday placed starter Josh Tomlin and outfielder Michael Brantley on the disabled list, two more tough blows to the Indians' chances of catching up in the AL Central.
The Indians, who have fallen 6 1-2 games behind first-place Detroit, have shifted into survival mode while dealing with a slew of injuries. Tomlin and Brantley join Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Jason Kipnis and Carlos Carrasco on an overcrowded DL. Hafner may need season-ending foot surgery.
''It's tough,'' manager Manny Acta said. ''I've never seen it.''
Tomlin's injury could be the most troublesome, He has a sprained right elbow, and it's possible that he has thrown his last pitch this season. The right-hander has been shut down for two weeks, when the Indians will re-evaluate him in the middle of September and decide if he will rejoin their rotation.
Trainer Lonnie Soloff said Tomlin, who has won 12 games and been steady most of this season - his first as a full-time starter - underwent an MRI. Soloff said Tomlin could be done for the year if the Indians are out of the race when he's ready to come back. Tomlin has pitched a career-high 165 1-3 innings.
Brantley is sidelined with a wrist injury that has bothered him for weeks. He visited renowned orthopedist Dr. Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic. Brantley's wrist is sore in a new location, Soloff said, and the Indians are unclear as to the exact nature of his injury. Brantley will not play for at least five days, and the Indians will then decide his next step.
On a positive note, Sizemore ran the bases for the first time since going on the DL on July 18. Soloff said the team was encouraged by Sizemore's progress. The three-time All-Star will increase his activities next week and it's possible he could be sent on a minor league rehab assignment.
Soloff reported Hafner's foot was ''better'' and the team will seek outside opinions next week on his sprained tendon, which bothered him for months. Hafner is wearing a walking boot and is currently receiving daily treatment.
The Indians recalled LHP Nick Hagadone to fill one roster spot. The 25-year-old has gone 6-4 in 25 relief appearances between Akron (AA) and Columbus (AAA).