Josh Tomlin
Josh Tomlin
33-Year-Old PitcherRP
Cleveland Indians
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Tomlin has made a living off eating innings with a control-based approach when given the chance to start. He's topped 8.0 K/9 in just one season, but has never carried a walk rate above 2.3 BB/9. In fact, his walk rate has dipped in each of his last four full seasons, all the way down to 0.9 in 2017, and he recorded his highest percentage of first-pitch strikes last year, a whopping 68.6 percent, which ranked second behind Clayton Kershaw for all pitchers with 140-plus innings. Unfortunately, that contact- and zone-based game plan has bitten Tomlin back, leaving him with a career 68.4 left-on-base percentage and 1.54 HR/9. Pitching in front of one of the league's best defenses has worked enough that the 33-year-old should at least be in the running for a rotation spot next year, but he could face competition from Mike Clevinger, who boasts more upside, among others. Don't pay for a full season of starting, especially since he wouldn't stand out as a reliever. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a two-year contract extension with the Indians in January 2016. Contract includes a $3 million club option and $750,000 buyout for 2018.
Claims win in relief
PCleveland Indians
September 24, 2018
Tomlin (2-5) was the pitcher of record in Sunday's 4-3 walk-off victory over the White Sox in 11 innings after tossing two scoreless frames in relief. He yielded one hit and one walk and struck out two in the 31-pitch appearance.
ANALYSIS
Tomlin had started the series opener Thursday and covered four innings, so his availability out of the bullpen on just two days' rest came as a surprise. Manager Terry Francona's decision to roll with Tomlin in relief likely removes the right-hander from consideration for a start Wednesday against the White Sox, with Shane Bieber now seemingly the top option for the nod that day. Tomlin could rejoin the rotation during the four-game series in Kansas City next weekend with the Indians perhaps inclined not to use their top three starters during those games with the playoffs on the horizon.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-1%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-27%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
2016
 
 
-23%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .284 685 107 20 187 42 3 36
Since 2016vs Right .288 919 159 25 253 53 1 47
2018vs Left .369 131 16 7 45 8 0 13
2018vs Right .269 163 23 4 42 9 0 11
2017vs Left .307 252 44 6 75 19 1 9
2017vs Right .284 333 65 8 91 22 0 14
2016vs Left .229 302 47 7 67 15 2 14
2016vs Right .299 423 71 13 120 22 1 22
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-5%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-14%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-14%
ERA on Road
2016
 
 
-4%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 5.07 1.32 188.0 12 14 0 6.4 1.0 2.1
Since 2016Away 4.82 1.23 186.2 12 9 0 6.3 1.2 1.8
2018Home 6.00 1.37 30.0 0 3 0 5.1 1.2 3.3
2018Away 6.98 1.65 29.2 1 2 0 6.1 2.1 3.6
2017Home 5.31 1.38 78.0 7 6 0 7.4 1.2 1.7
2017Away 4.57 1.14 63.0 3 3 0 6.4 0.6 1.1
2016Home 4.50 1.24 80.0 5 5 0 5.9 0.8 2.0
2016Away 4.31 1.15 94.0 8 4 0 6.3 1.2 1.7
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Stat Review
How does Josh Tomlin compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
K/BB
3.42
 
K/9
5.6
 
BB/9
1.6
 
HR/9
3.3
 
Fastball
87.7 mph
 
ERA
6.44
 
WHIP
1.52
 
BABIP
.307
 
GB/FB
0.79
 
Strand %
69.7%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2012
2011
In 2015, Tomlin posted a 3.02 ERA despite a 1.8 HR/9 over 66 innings. That was possibly due to the fact he stranded 90 percent of his baserunners and was very stingy with walks. His home run rate actually got worse in 2016 and his strand rate went down to 71 percent, so his ERA spiked to 4.40. All of this was despite the fact he had the highest groundball rate of his career. The high homer rate, low walk rate and the fact his strikeout rate has declined for three straight seasons makes one wonder if Tomlin is the long lost son of former pitcher Dave Bush. The Indians may entrust him with a rotation spot to begin 2017, but he's hardly a lock to keep the job all season if his extreme long-ball tendencies persist.
Tomlin failed to lock down a spot in the starting rotation in the spring after battling some shoulder soreness and was sent to Triple-A Colombus to start the season. He immediately hit the DL and required a cleanup procedure on his shoulder and was sidelined until the middle of July. Tomlin made a couple of starts at Triple-A after wrapping up his rehab before being recalled by the Indians in mid-August to fill a vacancy in the starting rotation. He performed very well in a 10-start stretch for the Indians, posting a 3.02 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP in 65.2 innings while exhibiting pinpoint control (1.1 BB/9) and striking out 57 batters. The only cause for concern was an alarming 13 homers allowed and an unsustainable .199 BABIP mark. Tomlin's had some longball issues in the past, and his flyball tendencies won't be able to leverage an improved infield defense, but he will enter camp with a chance at landing a spot at the back end of the Cleveland rotation.
The same two issues have plagued Tomlin throughout his career and unsurprisingly, they are intertwined: home runs and working with runners on. Of his 70 home runs, 35 have come with runners on despite 418 fewer batters faced. His 1.4 HR/9 and 66 percent LOB rate suggest he has earned quite a bit of his career 4.89 ERA. At 30 years old, it’s hard to envision a severe turnaround coming any time soon. This is why the excitement is always tamped down with righties sitting 88-90 mph on the gun. Even if they are able to deceive their way to some big minor league numbers, it always catches up in the majors, especially if they don’t have impeccable control of their low-90s fastball. Tomlin is best used as a 26th-man type who shuttles between Triple-A and the majors when the team needs some starts filled due to injury or a doubleheader. He could reasonably be the long man in a bullpen, but regardless of whether he’s the 25th or 26th man, he doesn’t carry much fantasy value.
Tomlin missed most of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but did make it back for some rehab starts and a brief appearance with the Indians in September. He has heavily relied on pinpoint control and a strong defense behind him in the past, so he can't really afford to have left any of his velocity on the operating table. Tomlin has never carried an xFIP below 4.00 during his time in the big leagues, nor as he pushed his strikeout rate above 5.3 K/9 in any one campaign. He will enter spring training with a chance to earn a spot at the back end of the Indians' rotation, but there is little reason to get excited if he manages to secure a job.
Tomlin was surprisingly effective for the Indians after opening the season as the team's fifth starter, winning 12 games to go along with a 4.25 ERA and a sparkling 1.077 WHIP thanks to a league-leading 1.14 BB/9IP. His excellent control helped him survive a low strikeout rate (4.84 K/9IP) and his long-ball tendencies (24 allowed in his 26 starts) are the only real blemishes. Tomlin experienced elbow soreness that cut his season short in September, but is expected to be ready for the start of spring training. He'll start the season as the team's No. 3 or No. 4 starter, but it will take a lot of things to break right if he's going to have a repeat performance.
Tomlin made a dozen serviceable starts for the Indians after a midseason callup but continued to struggle with the long ball, allowing 10 homers in just 73 innings. It's been an issue in his minor league career as well, and his low strikeout rate (5.3 K/9IP) means a lot of balls are being put in play against him. He'll battle for a rotation spot again this spring.
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Knocked around in no-decision
PCleveland Indians
September 20, 2018
Tomlin pitched four innings in a no-decision Thursday, yielding four runs on eight hits (one home run) while striking out two in the loss to the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
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Receives another start
PCleveland Indians
September 17, 2018
Tomlin is scheduled to start Thursday's series finale against the White Sox, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Surrenders two runs in spot start
PCleveland Indians
September 14, 2018
Tomlin allowed two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two over four innings Friday against Detroit. He didn't factor into the decision.
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Tabbed for spot start
PCleveland Indians
September 11, 2018
Tomlin will start Friday against the Tigers, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
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Reinstated from disabled list
PCleveland Indians
August 23, 2018
Tomlin (hamstring) was activated from the 10-day disabled list Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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