KANSAS CITY, Mo.: Josh Tomlin will go nine days without pitching.
What's wrong with the right-handed starter? Nothing, and the Indians want to keep it that way. A prevailing theory that has been adopted by virtually all major-league teams is that starters 25 and younger should be strictly limited in the number of innings they throw per season. Shoulder and elbow fatigue can lead to injury, and it has been postulated that 200 innings or more can put these starters in harm's way.
Instead of shutting Tomlin down entirely with a few weeks to go in the season, manager Manny Acta has elected to have Tomlin skip at least one turn and maybe more. Consequently, he won't start again until Saturday against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
""This is just part of being a young guy who throws a lot of innings,'' Acta said this afternoon. ""We want these guys to pitch through the year, but we also want to avoid fatigue. We're shooting for 30 percent increase in innings from last year. We might do the same thing with Jeanmar Gomez and Justin Masterson.''
Tomlin, 25, amassed 145 innings for Akron in 12009. So far this season, he has pitched 107 1/3 innings at Columbus and another 24 1/3 in the big leagues for a total of 131 2/3. If Tribe operatives stick to their objective of limiting him to a 30 percent increase, he has about 87 innings to go.
""I don't feel any fatigue setting in,'' Tomlin said. ""And I know they don't want that to happen.''