Postponement slightly alters starters' schedule

Tomlin set for Saturday, Kluber for Sunday; Chisenhall starting rehab soon

Postponement slightly alters starters' schedule

CLEVELAND -- Only two pitchers within the Indians' rotation were impacted by Monday's season-opening postponement. Right-hander Josh Tomlin is now scheduled to start on Saturday against the White Sox, and ace Corey Kluber's second outing will be pushed back until Sunday.

Originally, Kluber would have stayed on normal rest following his Opening Day outing and taken the ball again on Saturday, but Monday's decision to push the opener to Tuesday altered that plan. Indians manager Terry Francona did not view the change as a problem for the pitching staff.

"This doesn't affect really anything," Francona said. "In fact, it may help keep guys in order. But you also know that there's potential weather [issues] in Chicago, too. So we'll just show up and be ready to play, and if we don't, we'll make an adjustment."

Tomlin, who last started on March 29, when he struck out 10 and walked none in six shutout innings against the Mariners, threw four simulated innings in the bullpen at Progressive Field during Sunday's workout. The Indians gave Tomlin permission to remain in Arizona for the start of the season, but the right-hander chose to join the team in Cleveland in order to pitch in the colder climate.

"I didn't think it'd be very beneficial to pitch in 80-degree weather if my first start is going to be in the 30s," Tomlin said. "I threw about 60 in the bullpen and got up and down a few times. I wanted to get that feeling of pitching in the cold a little bit."

Tomlin will have 10 days between starts, but the righty feels prepared to deal with the long layoff.

"I don't know if I'm better equipped than anybody else, but I've done it before," Tomlin said. "So it's not anything new to me. I feel like I can handle it. For me, it's not about losing my stuff. It's about staying sharp. It's staying on the edges of the plate and being able to throw pitches for strikes. I simulated that over in the bullpen."

Chisenhall headed to 15-day DL

Chisenhall starting rehab soon
Francona noted that right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who is on the disabled list due to a left wrist issue that flared up during Spring Training, is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Thursday.

The plan calls for Chisenhall to play right field on Thursday, serve as the designated hitter on Friday and take a day off on Saturday. If all goes well, the outfielder would then begin a string of three consecutive Minor League games. That means Chisenhall's return to the Indians could be delayed at least a day or two after his April 12 eligibility date for activation.

"[Chisenhall] hasn't had a ton of at-bats," Francona said. "I'll sit and talk with him a little bit. We just want to make sure that when he comes back, he's ready to help us. When you come back, you're taking somebody's job. He needs to be ready to help."

Due to issues with his wrist and right forearm this spring, Chisenhall was limited to 26 Cactus League at-bats, in which he hit .077.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.