BOSTON -- Neil Ramirez emerged as one of the stabilizing arms in the Indians' bullpen during the group's turbulent May, providing manager Terry Francona with a reliable option for facing right-handed batters. The reliever's second half has been more problematic, culminating in a trip to the disabled list Thursday.Prior to
BOSTON -- Neil Ramirez emerged as one of the stabilizing arms in the Indians' bullpen during the group's turbulent May, providing manager Terry Francona with a reliable option for facing right-handed batters. The reliever's second half has been more problematic, culminating in a trip to the disabled list Thursday.
Prior to Cleveland's game against the Red Sox, the Indians placed Ramirez on the 10-day DL due to lower back spasms and activated right-hander Josh Tomlin from the DL after his bout with hamstring issues. Tomlin will join the Tribe's bullpen, offering length for a cast that was tasked with logging 4 1/3 innings in Wednesday's 10-4 loss at Fenway Park.
"He's been battling the back," Francona said of Ramirez, who logged 36 pitches in Wednesday's defeat. "It was a lot of pitches last night. Because we have a seven-man bullpen and we're trying to handle Andrew [Miller's workload], and [Adam] Cimber had been up a bunch, giving Neil 10 days to kind of be able to pitch ... I think it was necessary."
In 12 appearances since the All-Star break, Ramirez posted a 7.30 ERA with a .936 opponents' OPS in 12 1/3 innings. The righty had 17 strikeouts in that span, but issued six walks, allowed five home runs and was charged with 10 runs on 11 hits. That was a drastic drop-off from Ramirez's 20 outings prior to that stretch, in which he spun a 1.50 ERA with 20 strikeouts and five walks in 17 1/3 innings.
Overall, Ramirez has a 4.59 ERA with 41 strikeouts vs. 12 walks in 33 1/3 innings this year for the Indians, who signed him to a Minor League contract over the winter.
Tomlin -- the longest-tenured player in the Indians' organization -- returns after rehabbing his right hamstring strain with multiple Minor League affiliates. In four rehab outings, the veteran right-hander had 11 strikeouts and no walks in 12 1/3 innings, but turned in a 5.11 ERA. On the season, Tomlin has gone 0-5 with a 6.98 ERA in 23 games (six starts) in the Majors and has allowed 21 homers in 49 innings.
"It's kind of nice to have him back," Francona said. "He's a valuable teammate in here. Even when he doesn't pitch, in my opinion, he brings so much to our ballclub. I think that's a big lift. I know guys, when they [saw him], half of them were yelling at him. It's just nice to see him.
"He definitely said he feels better than his numbers. I think sometimes in the Minor League games it can be difficult to judge. I think we'll certainly find out here. The Major League hitters will let you know. I'll tell you what, man, he was so diligent from the day we put him on the DL."
• Left fielder Michael Brantley received a scheduled day off from being in the starting lineup Thursday. Said Francona: "I think it's good for him. I don't think you can get lost in where you're playing. I think when a guy needs a day off, that's when they need it."
• Reliever Nicholas Goody (60-day DL) was scheduled to meet with Dr. Keith Meister on Thursday, given the recent flare-up of discomfort in his throwing elbow. Specialist Dr. James Andrews will also be consulting. More information on Goody's status should come 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 listen to his podcast.