Josh Tomlin will be on the mound for the Indians tonight — and, with the World Series having moved to Wrigley Field, he’ll also be in the batter’s box. The right-hander isn’t complaining.
“I think getting to hit is cool,” opined Tomlin. “I enjoy being part of the game as a whole, as opposed to just being a part of it when I’m out there pitching. Being able to impact the game on both sides of the ball is more fun than sitting in the dugout, doing nothing. I take a lot of pride in trying to have good at-bats.”
Tomlin — using baseball parlance — isn’t “an automatic out.” He had two hits in five at-bats this year, and he’s 6-for-12 in his career. That’s not totally by accident. He was a shortstop at Angelina Community College, where one of his teammates was Clay Buchholz. The equally athletic Red Sox righty had designs on the position, but he couldn’t beat out Tomlin.
Whether or not Cleveland’s Game Three starter is able to help out his own cause tonight remains to be seen. Either way, he will step into the box with a good attitude.
“I always joke with [Michael] Brantley that I could hit .270 in the big leagues,” Tomlin told me. He tells me, “‘No, you couldn’t.’ I say, “I’m hitting .500.’”
David Laurila grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and now writes about baseball from his home in Cambridge, Mass. He authored the Prospectus Q&A series at Baseball Prospectus from December 2006-May 2011 before being claimed off waivers by FanGraphs. He can be followed on Twitter @DavidLaurilaQA.