GLENDALE, Ariz.: Since he underwent elbow reconstruction in August 2012, Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin seems to have reinvented himself.
Pitching coach Mickey Callaway said Tomlin’s velocity is up to 93 mph, which he rarely touched before his surgery. Manager Terry Francona said Tomlin’s breaking ball has more power, which is a testament to his hard work.
“I’ve talked to some guys about it, but I’m not going to overpower anybody no matter what,” Tomlin said. “I’m not going to magically start throwing 96, 97 mph.”
Tomlin has accepted that limitation and is going after the final spot in the Indians’ rotation with everything he has.
He threw five efficient innings in Friday’s 2-2 tie with the Chicago White Sox at The Ballpark at Camelback Ranch.
He gave up five hits, including back-to-back home runs to Conor Gillaspie and Josh Phegley in the fifth inning. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Tomlin didn’t reach his pitch count, so he threw about 10 more in the bullpen after he left the mound.
“I felt great,” Tomlin said. “I felt I was locating the ball well, that was the main thing I took out of it, the fastball, cutter, change-up and curveball.”
Francona said, “He doesn’t beat himself. His stuff looks really crisp. You put those two together, that’s a nice combination.”
Last year, Tomlin pitched only two innings for the Indians and a total of 29⅓ at four minor-league levels. This spring he said he’s had no problem with his elbow.
“No physical effects the next day, none during, knock on wood,” he said. “That’s the main thing I’m taking out of that, feeling good the day after and priors, before I have to I pitch again.”
He won’t worry himself with what the radar gun is saying.
“If my velocity is creeping up a little bit, I still need to be down in the zone and hit the spots and work the ball in and out and elevate when I need to and throw the breaking stuff for a strike as well,” he said.
Danny Salazar works
Right-hander Danny Salazar stayed in Goodyear to face the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A Louisville team. Salazar went three innings and allowed two hits, one earned run, struck out six and walked one.
First baseman David Cooper figured in both runs for the Indians (12-2-2). His sacrifice fly in the eighth scored Ryan Rohlinger to tie the score 2-2. In the seventh, Cooper doubled, went to third on Elliot Johnson’s groundout and scored on Phegley’s passed ball. … Right-hander Bryan Shaw, who pitched the sixth, has not allowed a run in five innings in five spring appearances. … Outfielder Nyjer Morgan (slight left calf strain) must pass a test with the trainers Saturday before returning to action. … Right-hander Bryan Price was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, leaving 52 players in camp. … Francona did not use instant replay on Friday, the second game he could. He has three more chances — on Sunday against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa and in games against the Reds on Monday and on March 24.
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Read the her blog at http://www.ohio.com/marla. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.