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Deja vu: With Salazar out, Tribe turns to Tomlin

Veteran righty making rehab start Friday, slated to rejoin rotation Wednesday
MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- History is repeating itself for the Indians. A year ago, Danny Salazar landed on the shelf with an arm injury and Josh Tomlin came up big in his absence, helping shore up the rotation for Cleveland's run to the playoffs. Once again, the Tribe is counting on Tomlin with Salazar sidelined.

On Friday, Tomlin is scheduled to pitch for Class A Short-Season Mahoning Valley in a rehab game before being activated from the 10-day disabled list and rejoining the Indians' rotation. Salazar (also on the DL) is in a shut-down period from throwing due to inflammation in his right elbow, but a recent MRI exam showed no structural damage.

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CLEVELAND -- History is repeating itself for the Indians. A year ago, Danny Salazar landed on the shelf with an arm injury and Josh Tomlin came up big in his absence, helping shore up the rotation for Cleveland's run to the playoffs. Once again, the Tribe is counting on Tomlin with Salazar sidelined.

On Friday, Tomlin is scheduled to pitch for Class A Short-Season Mahoning Valley in a rehab game before being activated from the 10-day disabled list and rejoining the Indians' rotation. Salazar (also on the DL) is in a shut-down period from throwing due to inflammation in his right elbow, but a recent MRI exam showed no structural damage.

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"I've been very pleased with how the progress has gone so far," Tomlin said of his rehab from a left hamstring injury. "That's the one thing you can really ask for is to feel good. You come in every day feeling better and ready to make that next step. I've been able to do that. It's been a good process so far."

While Salazar's timetable is unclear, Cleveland has Tomlin in line to start Wednesday against the Yankees in New York. For Friday's game against the Royals, lefty Ryan Merritt will be promoted from Triple-A Columbus to make a spot start.

Video: Zinkie on impact of Miller, Salazar going on DL

Tomlin (7-9, 5.38 ERA) sustained his hamstring injury July 30, when he logged four no-hit innings against the White Sox. That performance came at the end of a strong stretch for the right-hander, who went 3-0 with a 2.59 ERA and 22 strikeouts against one walk in the four starts (24 1/3 innings) before landing on the shelf.

"The main thing is it wasn't an arm injury," said Tomlin, who will look to throw five or six innings Friday. "That's the most positive thing you can take out of it, is it wasn't an arm injury, so you're not going to have to be testing it when you get back."

Other injury updates

• The Indians are in the process of gathering as much information as they can about the knee ailment that is affecting left-hander Andrew Miller (10-day DL). Miller met with Dr. Richard Parker (the Cavaliers' head team physician) on Wednesday because the injury is more common among NBA players.

"We're getting some other opinions," manager Terry Francona said. "We're trying to see if we can be more aggressive with some things, but we don't want to be aggressive without doing our due diligence on everything. So, we're in the midst of getting a few more opinions."

• First baseman Carlos Santana (back tightness) was out of the starting lineup Thursday for the third straight game. Francona said Santana was improving and was scheduled to take batting practice before Thursday's game. Barring any setbacks, Santana might be cleared to return to the lineup Friday.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin