NEW YORK -- With sweat still dripping from his brow, Cody Anderson was not sure yet what the next step would be in his comeback from a mild left oblique issue. All the Indians starter knew on Friday afternoon was that he had just completed another bullpen session, and he felt strong.
"I don't ask questions," Anderson said. "I just pick up the ball and chuck it."
Indians manager Terry Francona offered a little more clarity, indicating that Anderson was likely going to begin a Minor League rehab assignment soon. The manager noted that the team's training staff was still working out the specifics of Anderson's schedule, but the most likely scenario right now seems to be that the big righty will not rejoin the Major League pitching staff until after rosters expand on Sept. 1.
For the time being, righty Josh Tomlin has filled in admirably for Anderson, allowing only three runs over 13 1/3 innings in his past two starts since being called up from Triple-A Columbus. Tomlin's solid return from preseason right shoulder surgery -- a comeback that included seven solid innings against the Yankees in the Indians' 3-2 win Thursday -- should help buy time for Anderson to get healthy and build his pitch count back up.
Francona did not entirely dismiss the notion of a six-man rotation for at least part of the season's last month.
"You start getting to September and there are a lot of ways to manage [having six starters]," Francona said. "[We wouldn't use a six-man rotation] for the whole month. I don't think so. We discuss a lot of things. I doubt we'd do that. We may, at times, to help where need be."
The 24-year-old Anderson, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 8, threw off a mound on Tuesday in Boston and then simulated two innings (60 total pitches) before Friday's game at Yankee Stadium. On the season, the right-hander has turned in a 4.31 ERA in eight outings, but that includes a 10.19 ERA (20 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings) in the four starts before landing on the DL.
"Everything was good," Francona said of Anderson's latest mound workout. "The next step is maybe getting him out on a rehab assignment. We just need to walk through when we'd want to do that."