Justin Masterson will start on three days' rest Thursday

Mitchell Layton

This is not ideal.

Justin Masterson will start on three days' rest for the Indians in Thursday night's series opener in Baltimore. He was originally scheduled to start Friday night's game. Friday's starter is now yet to be determined.

Josh Tomlin was originally scheduled to pitch today, but after Zach McAllister lasted only two innings yesterday, the Indians burned through relievers in a hurry, forcing Tomlin to enter the game in the 11th inning. He did well, striking out six and allowing only one run in three innings (and picking up his third win), but he's obviously not going to go the day after throwing 49 pitches.

Not only is Masterson starting on three days not ideal (he's only started on short rest once before in his career, and that was on a technicality, when he started two days after throwing 37 pitches in a game he exited early due to a lengthy rain delay), and not only is he having a hard time pitching even on full rest, but this move doesn't even solve the problem, it just pushes it back another day.

The ideal solution would have been to call up T.J. House from Columbus, but because the team decided to bring him up to pitch one inning and sit on the bench for a couple days before sending him back down, he's not yet eligible to be brought back up.

Unless the Indians are willing to let the rest of the rotation start on short rest too (an awful idea), they're going to have to DFA someone, so that they can add another starting pitcher to the 40-man rotation (because there aren't any available at the moment); place someone on the DL, so that they are allowed to bring House back up (maybe McAllister is hurt; he has a 10.13 ERA since his own short-rest start three weeks ago, and has averaged fewer than 4 innings a game during that time); or go with a bullpen game, in which 5 or 6 guys go an inning or two each (given how taxed the bullpen has been, this seems unlikely).

I suppose Tomlin (or Carlos Carrasco, who threw 51 pitches yesterday) might be able to go 4 or 5 innings tomorrow, because pitchers tend to throw a decent number of pitches on the side a couple days after a start, to keep their arm loose.

None of those options sound good, but if there isn't an injury, I'd DFA someone (probably Scott Barnes), and bring up Kyle Davies (scheduled to pitch tonight) or Travis Banwart (scheduled to pitch tomorrow) from Columbus to fill in Friday night.

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