Full disclosure-I’m a fan of Josh Tomlin the man not the player. Sure, I love when Josh is on the mound for the Atlanta Braves (my favorite team of all time) but really it’s the man I love and admire.
Josh has been in the majors over a decade now. However, he’s still the humble, hard working ‘good ole boy’ from Whitehouse, TX. He’s a husband and dad and a friend.
In this conversation Josh and I just shot the bull and got into some of the inside scoop of what’s happening in MLB from a player’s perspective. I think you will find it very insightful.
Here’s a little more about Josh from the Wikipedias
Tomlin was coached by his father until he began playing high school baseball. Tomlin attended Whitehouse High School, Angelina College, and Texas Tech University. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 11th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign.
Tomlin was drafted again by the Cleveland Indians in the 19th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft, and did sign. Since 2006, he has played with various minor league baseball teams including the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Lake County Captains, Kinston Indians, Buffalo Bisons, and Columbus Clippers.
At Columbus, Tomlin went 8–4 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 appearances, including 17 starts. He has an overall minor-league record of 51–24 with a 3.20 ERA.
Tomlin was promoted to the Indians to make his major league debut against the New York Yankees on July 27, 2010, where he outpitched the Yankees’ CC Sabathia, earning a 4–1 win. In 12 starts for the Indians, Tomlin went 6-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 73 innings. In 2011, Tomlin pitched most of the season in the Indians rotation, finishing with a record of 12-7 in 26 starts.
On May 7, 2012, Tomlin pitched a no-decision with a career-high eight strikeouts in a win versus the White Sox. The following day Tomlin reported soreness in his wrist and was placed on the 15-day disabled list after undergoing an MRI which revealed inflammation to soft tissue. In July, holding a 5-5 record and 5.45 ERA and recording at least six innings in just 7 of 13 starts (compared to 23 of 26 in all of 2011), Tomlin stated, “Last year, they could count on me to save the bullpen. It’s bothered me that I’ve been like that. It’s frustrating.” On August 21, 2012, Tomlin underwent Tommy John surgery and was eliminated for the rest of the 2012 season and was expected to miss the entire 2013 season. However, he did pitch in one game on September 12, 2013, when he pitched two shutout innings against the Chicago White Sox in a relief appearance.
Tomlin was called up from AAA Columbus on May 5, 2014, and placed on the Cleveland Indians starting rotation, replacing Carlos Carrasco. On June 28, Tomlin pitched a near perfect game against the Seattle Mariners, striking out 11, walking none, and giving up one hit. The only player to reach base was Kyle Seager, getting a lead off single in the fifth. Tomlin went on to get a complete game shutout, leading the Indians to a 5-0 victory. He finished the 2014 season appearing in 25 games, 16 of them starts, with a record of 6-9 in 104 innings.
The following season, Tomlin underwent shoulder surgery in April 2015, and started just 10 games for the Indians.
On January 15, 2016, he and the Indians agreed to a one-year deal for the 2016 season worth $2.5 million. Negotiations continued, and 11 days later, another year was added to the contract, for the same $2.5 million base salary. A team option, worth $3 million, was available for the 2018 season. The Indians exercised Tomlin’s 2018 option on November 3, 2017. He finished the regular season starting 29 games for the Indians, establishing career highs in every statistical pitching category. He had a very low walk rate, leading the majors with only 1.03 bases on balls per 9 innings pitched. He also started 4 games for the Indians in their postseason route to the World Series, going 2–1 with a 4.58 ERA.
In 2017, he had a record of 10-9 with a 4.98 ERA in 26 starts.
In 2018, Tomlin began the season as the Indians fourth starter, but after struggling through six starts, he was moved to the bullpen. Tomlin finished with a career-worst 6.14 ERA in 32 appearances, 9 starts. He elected free agency on October 29, 2018.
In January 2019, Tomlin trained at Driveline Baseball to improve his pitching delivery. On February 7, Tomlin signed a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers that included an invitation to spring training. Tomlin signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves on March 21, a day after the Brewers released him.
Tomlin served mainly as a multi-inning reliever for the Braves, going 2–1 with a 3.74 ERA over 79.1 innings (51G, 1GS). His 0.79 BB/9 was the lowest in MLB (min. 30 IP). Tomlin pitched in two games in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals. Tomlin retired 10 of the 12 batters he faced, not allowing a run over 2+2⁄3 innings. Tomlin signed a minor league deal to return to the organization on February 12, 2020. Tomlin had his contract selected to the 40-man roster on July 18. In 2020, he was 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA, in 39.2 innings that included five starts.
On November 11, 2020, Tomlin and the Braves agreed on a one-year contract worth $1 million that included a team option for the following season. Tomlin struggled to a 6.57 ERA in 35 appearances for Atlanta in 2021, but won his first ever World Series ring when the Braves defeated the Houston Astros in 2021 World Series. On November 6, 2021, the Braves declined the option on Tomlin’s contract for the 2022 season, and became a free agent.