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Indians notebook: Josh Tomlin on track to return to big leagues in September

CLEVELAND: Josh Tomlin pitched five innings in his latest rehab start and probably will rejoin the Indians in September.

Manager Terry Francona isn’t making any predictions about when the right-hander [who underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery last year] will return, but he’s running out of time to pitch in the Tribe farm system.

“Hopefully, Josh will get two more starts before the minor-league season is over, and we can decide what we want to do,” Francona said.

By that time, Francona said that Tomlin’s arm should be stretched to 90 pitches.

The manager said last week that Tomlin will not be used in the bullpen, because of the stress it would put on his arm to repeatedly have to warm up and sit down during the course of a game. More than likely, Tomlin will be used if the Tribe needs a spot starter.

ONE MORE STEP — Ryan Raburn had to pass one more test before he returns to the lineup.

“We’re having him looked at by a doctor today before we put him in a game,” Francona said Friday afternoon. “We want to make sure [his sore calf is not an issue].”

TESTIMONIAL — You don’t hear much about third-base coach Brad Mills, and Francona takes that as a huge compliment.

“Nobody has brought up his name all year,” Francona said. “That tells you what kind of baseball person he is. He’s a great baseball guy, and he’s having a great year at third base.”

Francona’s point: The only time a third-base coach is talked about by the fans or the media is when he waves a runner to the plate and he’s thrown out.

FARM FACTS — Tomlin gave up three runs, seven hits and walked none in five innings, as Columbus defeated Gwinnet 11-4 in Class AAA. … Joe Wendle had three hits and two RBI, and Bryson Myles and Paddy Matera each had two hits and one RBI, as Carolina beat Lynchburg 8-2 in Class A. Joe Colon (4-3, 2.99 ERA) pitched seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and no walks. … Jose Martinez hit his eighth homer of the year in Lake County’s 5-3 loss to Dayton in Class A. … Nellie Rodriguez hit his eighth home run of the season and singled, driving in two runs, as Mahoning Valley beat Jamestown 3-2 in Class A.

— Sheldon Ocker


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