CLEVELAND -- The revolving door that has been the Indians' starting rotation continues to turn in light of injuries. The latest pitcher to vacate his spot is struggling starter Mitch Talbot, who is now sidelined with a lower back strain.
On Wednesday, one day before Cleveland opens the season's second half with a four-game set in Baltimore, the Tribe placed Talbot on the 15-day disabled list with the back issue. For the time being, the Indians have recalled outfielder Ezequiel Carrera from Triple-A Columbus to provide some extra help off the bench.
"After his last outing, [Talbot] felt a little soreness in his back," manager Manny Acta said. "On Sunday, he was available out of the bullpen. Between innings, he tried to throw back there and felt it a little bit, so we shut him down."
Carrera's stay in Cleveland might be short-lived. Acta said the club will recall Jeanmar Gomez to take Talbot's spot in the rotation, beginning Sunday.
The Indians will open the second half with Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin and Carlos Carrasco -- the team's most consistent starting arms during the first half -- working the first three games, respectively, against the Orioles.
Gomez has pitched in four games for Cleveland and has gone 9-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts for Columbus this season. Gomez was scratched from Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star Game and instead pitched for Class A Mahoning Valley.
On Monday, the Indians are scheduled to play a doubleheader in Minnesota against the Twins. The Tribe will activate righty Fausto Carmona (strained right quadriceps) from the 15-day DL for one of the starts.
Carmona suffered the injury during a fall while running to first base in the third inning of an Interleague game against the Reds on July 2. He is 4-10 with a 5.78 ERA in 18 starts this season.
Carmona is scheduled to throw a simulated game in Baltimore on Thursday. Acta said his recovery has come without any setbacks.
"He's fine," Acta said. "We're not anticipating any issues with Fausto."
Cleveland has candidates in lefty David Huff (8-2, 3.70 ERA at Triple-A) and Zach McAllister (8-3, 2.97 ERA at Triple-A) for the second game against the Twins on Monday. Huff pitched for the Tribe in each of the past two years, while McAllister made his Major League debut for the Indians on Thursday.
Talbot, who spent time on the 15-day DL earlier this year with a right elbow injury, is 2-6 with a 6.33 ERA in 11 starts for the Indians this season. Over his past five outings, the right-hander has gone 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA, allowing 26 earned runs on 41 hits over just 24 2/3 innings. Talbot was sidelined with a mid back strain in August of last season.
Carrera provides Cleveland with a versatile outfielder for the next few days. He hit .250 in five games with the Indians in May and has been a standout performer this season at Columbus. In 81 games for the Clippers, Carrera has hit .288 with a .373 on-base percentage, mixing in two homers, 25 RBIs, 35 stolen bases and 63 runs scored.