SEATTLE -- Possibility became reality on Tuesday afternoon for Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin.
Following a consultation with specialist Lewis Yocum, Cleveland announced that Tomlin will undergo Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow. The procedure will be performed by Yocum on Wednesday in Los Angeles and the timetable for recovery is estimated at 12-18 months.
"It's something that he needed to get done," Indians manager Manny Acta said, "in order for him to be able to compete the way he was able to compete in the past."
Tomlin met with Yocum on Tuesday and, after the doctor examined the right-hander's damaged ulnar collateral ligament, it was determined that Tommy John surgery was the necessary route. Mark Schickendantz -- Cleveland's head team physician -- came to the same conclusion in a meeting with Tomlin on Aug. 13.
Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said Tomlin has dealt with right elbow issues off and on over the past few years, but the pitcher never suffered a ruptured ligament. In Tomlin's case, the ligament lengthened gradually over time and eventually began to hinder the pitcher's performance.
If Tomlin, 27, becomes a relief pitcher, it is possible that he could return to the club before the end of the 2013 season. Should Cleveland decide to build him up again as a starter, though, Tomlin would likely be part of the 2014 plans.
Cleveland believes the injury explains Tomlin's struggles this season.
"Without a doubt," Acta said. "When guys are having those type of symptoms, the first thing to be affected is the command. Command is such a big part of his game."
This season Tomlin went 5-8 with a 6.36 ERA in 21 appearances, which was a considerable downgrade from his showing (12-7, 4.25) in his first full season in 2011. Tomlin has gone 7-11 with a 6.00 ERA in his most recent 153 innings, dating back to last July. He went 10-4 with a 3.81 ERA in his first 115 2/3 innings last year.
Tomlin's season ended prematurely last August due to soreness in his right elbow.
"In Josh's case," Soloff explained, "dating back to his time in junior college up until last August, he's probably had four or five episodes of ligament sprains. He's done well in each instant over the short-term.
"Even at the present point, it's not disruptive. It's just to the point where it's lengthened enough where it becomes what is termed 'insufficient.' An insufficient ligament begins to just not do its job."
Sizemore will not play this year
SEATTLE -- The Indians knew the risk involved when they re-signed center fielder Grady Sizemore over the offseason. Cleveland also knew the reward involved if Sizemore returned to his old ways on a baseball diamond.
Because of a variety of health woes, Sizemore never got close to returning to the field and the Indians announced Tuesday that the outfielder will not see any game action this year. Sizemore is currently dealing with right knee soreness.
"It's sad," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I won't call it disappointing. I'm just sad for the human being that he is, and the type of player that he is. Especially for me, because one of the things that attracted me the most to this job was Grady Sizemore, being able to have a player that was going to help me win ballgames by himself.
"A lot of things have happened over the last three, four years that have been completely out of his control. The guy played the game right. He was an elite player in this league. Unfortunately, over the last three or four seasons, he hasn't been able to do it."
Over the past four years, the 30-year-old Sizemore has undergone operations on his back, left elbow and both knees, along with a pair of sports hernia procedures. Most recently, Sizemore had lower back surgery in March.
Sizemore progressed to running and agility drills last week, but head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said the center fielder experienced soreness and inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee. The Indians will slow Sizemore's rehab for 10-14 days.
"As a result of this recent development," Soloff said, "and with where we are in the season, it's unlikely that he'll have enough time to see any game-related activities."
Sizemore was signed to a one-year contract with a base salary of $5 million over the winter after hitting just .224 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in 71 games a year ago. Over the 2008-2011 seasons, Sizemore hit a combined .234 with 28 homers, 109 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 210 games.
That is a drastic drop-off from 2005-08, when Sizemore hit .281 with 107 homers, 325 RBIs and 115 stolen bases in 639 games, and he made three All-Star teams, took home two Gold Glove Awards and earned one Silver Slugger.
Acta does not believe that Sizemore, a free agent this coming winter, is facing the end of an injury-shortened career.
"No, I would not be jumping to that conclusion," Acta said. "He's still very young and has plenty of time, I would say, to still heal his body and play baseball. I wouldn't be a guy who'd be erasing this guy completely."
Indians targeting Chisenhall return next month
SEATTLE -- Lonnie Chisenhall is determined to return to the team before this season expires. So far, the Indians third baseman has impressed the Tribe's medical staff in his effort to meet that goal.
"Chisenhall is progressing beautifully," Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said on Tuesday.
Soloff added that Chisenhall's progress from a fractured right forearm is going well enough that Cleveland expects to be able to send him out on a rehab assignment during the Minor League postseason. The goal would be to get the third baseman prepped for a possible return to the Tribe at some point in September.
"That's been his goal since the injury," Soloff said. "He's really dedicated himself 110 percent to his recovery. He's done a nice job with it."
Chisenhall recently indicated that he is also considering playing winter ball.
During the Indians' upcoming 10-game homestand, which begins on Tuesday, Chisenhall will likely progress to taking part in batting practice, baserunning and limited infield drills. Soloff said the initial infield activites would probably include throws across the diamond from third base.
Chisenhall, 23, was struck on the right forearm by an errant fastball from Orioles pitcher Troy Patton on June 29. The third baseman hit .278 with three homers and nine RBIs in his 24 games with Cleveland from May 28-June 29, but he had hit .342 (13-for-38) in the 13 games leading up to the injury.
Quote to note
"Life is tough. Put a hockey mask on and deal with it."
-- Message that Indians manager Manny Acta wrote on a whiteboard in the visiting clubhouse at Safeco Field on Tuesday
On Tuesday, the Indians named Arizona League Indians shortstop Dorssys Paulino the organization's Minor League Player of the Week for Aug. 13-19. Over that span, the 17-year-old Paulino hit .560 (14-for-25) with three homers, three doubles, one triple and nine RBIs. He was also promoted to short-season Class A Mahoning Valley on Tuesday.
Indians left-hander Rafael Perez (on the 60-day disabled list with a left lat injury) suffered a sprained right ankle in his most recent Minor League rehab appearance. Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff remains optimistic that Perez, who has been sidelined since late April, will pitch again for the Indians this season.
"I would certainly hope so," Soloff said on Tuesday. "Our plan is that he will."
Soloff said right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who has spent this season recovering from Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, will likely begin pitching in Arizona League games this week. Carrasco is expected to be ready to be thrown into the Tribe's rotation mix next spring.