Throughout the offseason, I’ll be sharing a series on Tribe Strengths, highlighting one area in which each player excels. Up next is Josh Tomlin.
Josh Tomlin is a polarizing figure among Tribe fans. He doesn’t overpower anyone and gets roughed up when he isn’t on his A-game. But even if he isn’t the guy you necessarily want on the mound in clutch situations, you have to admire his ability to get the absolute most out of his limited ability.
Tomlin doesn’t have an overpowering fastball and his breaking balls don’t fool hitters often, but his ability to pound the strike zone over and over again allows him to work ahead and force hitters to swing at his pitches.
In 2017, Tomlin only threw 134 of his 2,088 pitches in three-ball counts, one of the best rates in the majors:
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that of those 134 three-ball pitches, only 14 resulted in walks.
Tomlin enters 2018 in the final year of his contract and will likely have a similar role on the roster. He won’t be relied up as anything more than a fifth starter and may not even hold that job for the entirety of the season. But having a guy on the roster who can simply go out there and throw strikes when called upon is an enormously valuable asset and gives the Tribe pitching depth that almost every other franchise lacks.