Cleveland: The Indians needed a roster spot for Josh Tomlin, who came off the disabled list to start Monday’s game against the Royals.

With injuries to four position players messing up the composition of the roster, the Tribe designated for assignment reliever Jairo Asencio, who was blistered for six runs and nine hits in two outings (3? innings) against the White Sox over the weekend.

His absence means the Tribe bullpen has shrunk to six pitchers, a circumstance that is not to manager Manny Acta’s liking. Nevertheless, the manager will have to operate shorthanded at least for a day or two, until either Asdrubal Cabrera or Travis Hafner recovers from an injury.

“It depends on Cabrera and Hafner,” Acta said. “This is not a situation I want to be in. Asdrubal is pretty close. He’ll work out tomorrow, and he will be pushed a little more.”

Cabrera has missed three games with a tight hamstring. Hafner is nursing a sore knee.

FIXING JIMENEZ – The operative word from everybody involved seems to be “consistency.”

General Manager Chris Antonetti uses it; manager Manny Acta does, too; even Ubaldo Jimenez mouths the word in talking about his problems.

“Ubaldo will be the first to tell you that he hasn’t been able to be consistent,” Antonetti said. “One thing that is consistent with Ubaldo is his work ethic and [pitching coach] Scott Radinsky’s efforts to help him.”

In his latest start, Sunday against the White Sox, Jimenez was hammered for seven runs, seven hits and four walks in four innings, which raised his earned-run average to 5.79.

Asked if Jimenez’s mechanics are the same as when Tribe scouts saw him, preceding his trade from Colorado last summer, Antonetti said, “The basic fundamentals of his delivery are the same, but small changes can make big differences in the results.”

SANTANA UPDATE – Carlos Santana has to miss at least a week, because he is on baseball’s special seven-day disabled list, reserved for players who have incurred a concussion.

But concussions are not always predictable. Travis Hafner once missed more than a month with a concussion that was not believed to be extreme.

“Carlos is feeling better each day,” Antonetti said. “At this point, he feels close to normal. We are going to ramp up his activities and see how he responds.”

Head trainer Lonnie Soloff evaluates Santana daily with a protocol of questions and tests. A player can feel fine while at rest, but symptoms sometimes return when he is active. Apparently, that is the next thing Soloff wants to find out.

FARM FACTS – Chris Seddon (5-3, 4.30 ERA) gave up one run and five hits in 7? innings, as Columbus defeated Syracuse 9-1. Cord Phelps hit his third homer of the season and drove in three runs. Chad Huffman doubled, singled and had four RBI. … Will Roberts gave up two runs and five hits in five innings, but Carolina lost 8-3 to Winston-Salem. Ronny Rodriguez had two hits. … Jerrud Sabourin doubled twice in Lake County’s 10-1 loss to Lansing.

— Sheldon Ocker