CLEVELAND — When Roberto Hernandez is activated Wednesday to make his season debut against the Angels, the right-hander was expected to take the roster and rotation spot of left-hander Chris Seddon.
That plan sounds as though it will change.
Right-hander Josh Tomlin is scheduled to have his right elbow examined by team doctors this week in Cleveland. It appears likely that Tomlin will be placed on the disabled list, clearing the way for Hernandez to join the 25-man roster.
Tomlin, who has already lost his spot in the rotation, was roughed up for seven runs over just 1 1/3 innings of the Indians’ 14-1 loss to Boston on Sunday.
“We’re going to evaluate him and see how he’s doing physically,” manager Manny Acta said. “Usually when a guy’s not 100 percent healthy, that’s when you see a lack of command. We’re going to check him out, because that’s not him. He can’t pitch without his command.”
Tomlin (5-8, 6.36 ERA) said he has dealt with soreness in the elbow off and on all season.
“It’s been kind of mind-boggling to me how sometimes it feels fine and sometimes it hurts,” said Tomlin, who also dealt with right elbow issues during his first full season in the majors last year. “It’s time to get it checked out.”
Acta said he expects second baseman Jason Kipnis to return to the lineup tonight. Kipnis, who is batting just .193 (17-for-88) since the All-Star break, has missed four games with a stiff neck.
The Indians begin a nine-game, 10-game west coast road trip with a three-game series against the Angels that opens tonight at 10:05.
Justin Masterson (8-10, 4.68 ERA) starts the series opener against LHP C.J. Wilson (9-8, 3.34), while Ubaldo Jimenez (9-11, 5.25) goes for Cleveland on Tuesday (10:05 p.m.), the Angels countering with RHP Zack Greinke (9-4, 3.74).
Hernandez (0-0, 0.00) pitches the series finale Wednesday (10:05), squaring off with RHP Ervin Santana (5-10, 5.82).
Who’s in left?
Carlos Santana started at first base but finished in left field Sunday after right fielder Shin-Soo Choo was removed with the game out of hand in the sixth inning.
Shelley Duncan moved from left to right field, with Casey Kotchman coming of the bench to replace Santana at first. Acta could have inserted Michael Brantley but wanted the regular in center field to get a full day off.
Santana played some outfield early in his minor league career with the Dodgers, but it was his first appearance in the big leagues.
He caught two fly balls without incident.
Veteran infielder Jose Lopez cleared waivers and was granted his outright release from the Indians.
Lopez made the club out of spring training as an extra outfielder, batting .248 with four home runs and 28 RBIs in 66 games for Cleveland before being designated for assignment Tuesday.
With a sparse crowd left at the end of Sunday’s game, a discouraged fan could be heard yelling some choice words to Acta.
Included were shouts of “Fire Shapiro, Manny,” and “Fire Antonetti,” in reference to team president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti.
The boisterous fan also yelled, “It’s not the pitching coach’s fault,” alluding to the dismissal of pitching coach Scott Radinsky on Thursday.
Reliever Cody Allen pitched a scoreless eighth inning to extend his scoreless innings streak to 11. The right-hander has posted the longest scoreless streak by an Indians reliever to begin his big league career since Tom Waddell tossed 12 1/3 scoreless innings in 1984. … Cleveland’s Brent Lillibridge hit a homer against Boston on Saturday to become just the second player to homer against the Red Sox within a month of playing for them since 1959. … Tonight, 10:05, STO/WTAM 1100-AM.
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