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Justin Masterson

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Justin Masterson

Postby homerawayfromhome » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:31 am

If Masterson flops as a starter should the Tribe:
-simply move him to the pen
-or consider trading him...
He was a main piece of the VMart trade, has had his ups and downs as a starter but has a solid track record in the pen w/ Boston. Boston has called several times for him and he could draw interest from them or another contender once again.
If he cannot develop successfully as a starter, his value would be diminished in a trade but adding him to an already deep group arms could only further clog the development of other bullpen arms.
Masterson could be a key piece to the club becoming a contender sooner rather than later.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby Prosecutor » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:56 am

At this point it's completely irrelevant how we got him and who he was traded for. It's all a matter of how he pitches.

If he pitches well enough to hold on to his starting job, great. If not, he goes back to the bullpen where he's probably an upgrade over Joe Smith or Jensen Lewis.

Masterson has the stuff to get strikeouts and a lot of ground balls, so he could be a terrific guy to bring in with runners on base to get a K or a double play and get out of a jam. He has a lot of trouble with lefties so you would have to use him in situations with a right-handed hitter due up, but he could be a devastating rally killer out of the pen. He could also be a setup guy in the mold of Bobby Howry and Raffie Betancourt - two other hard throwing right handers who thrived in the 8th inning role.

As for now they should just let him start every fifth day until somebody takes his job. I don't see that happening this year or even next, but if Masterson has reached his potential and never gets any better he will eventually be the odd man out in a rotation of Carmona, Carrasco, White, Pomeranz, and Knapp, Gomez, or Hagadone. If and when that happens the Tribe can either make him a reliever or explore a trade.

That being said I was very encouraged by the way he finished last year with a 3.28 ERA in August and 2.25 in September. If he can carry that success into this season he'll nail down a starting job here until he qualifies for free agency and we can no longer afford him.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby homerawayfromhome » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:18 am

I disagree with the point of how we got him bc his value was regarded as a starting pitcher who could fall back to the pen if necessary... But that just deepens the bullpen arms. When he was acq. It was to be a starter.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:21 pm

Prosecutor wrote:If he pitches well enough to hold on to his starting job, great. If not, he goes back to the bullpen where he's probably an upgrade over Joe Smith or Jensen Lewis.

That being said I was very encouraged by the way he finished last year with a 3.28 ERA in August and 2.25 in September. If he can carry that success into this season he'll nail down a starting job here until he qualifies for free agency and we can no longer afford him.


If Masterson was moved to to the pen there would be no "probably" about it....he is a huge upgrade over Smith and Lewis (and I'm a supporter of both guys). In fact, Materson very likely could lay claim as best reliever in our pen if moved (yes even over CP).


That said, I agree with the last part. Masterson was great the last half of the year....and actually was pretty good the whole year. His ERA dropped but his FIP and xFIP show he can be better. Part of it was more strikes....part of it was AC moving back to SS (obviously I'm not a huge fan, but he was the best option we had last year). I don't believe in coincidences like that. I'm excited to see a Cabrera, Cabreara, Donald infield this year and what it does for Masterson (and Carrasco and Carmona).


As far as the OP's original question.....it all depends on how our young arms develop and what teams are offering for Masterson. So really it's too hard to answer. I'm betting we won't have to though as I don't see Nasty Masty failing as a starter. :drinks:
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby homerawayfromhome » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:27 pm

I believe the end of last season was a picture of things to come, when Masterson should have been getting tired toward the end of the yr he was pitching better. He seemed to find himself and showed progress. I am by no means saying they should trade him, would he still be a valuable trade commodity... curious if Boston offered a really good deal or NYY offered a cpl top pitching prospects AND Masterson was struggling as a starter would they consider it. I'm actually a fan of Masterson :s_thumbsup but its something to consider.

2011 PLAYER PROJECTION:
Justin Masterson 12 wins 10 losses 4.25 era 180+ in. 150k.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby TonyIBI » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:25 pm

I believe Masterson may be our setup man in waiting once the starting rotation hopefully at some point establishes itself. For now you start him because you can and because we have limited options, but hopefully down the road more/better options come forth and allow him to fill that setup need we have in the pen.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby homerawayfromhome » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:44 pm

How many yrs away is that though? He was really good in Boston, hopefully he could return to that form if that's the case. The only arms potentially ready this yr are Jeanmar Gomez and Alex White other than Huff and Tomlin. All could pitch their way into the staff by yrs end. Drew Pomeranz could fly through the system if he continues to pitch like he did. His potential is intriguing... Power LHSP who will move qkly through the system. Rondon is out for the yr and DeLaCruz was ineffective at AA last yr. Maybe the Tribe will swing a tr. for a solid arm too, but the only way I see Masterson being moved to the pen will be if he pitches himself out rather than the qlty of arms ready to compete for a rotation spot. The tribe has a plethora of young relievers/ potential relievers (Judy, Pestano, Bryson, Stowell, Hagadone) and with another group of young arms likely coming in June. There will be no shortage of arms that's for sure.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby Prosecutor » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:25 am

Anybody know how many more years we have control over Masterson?
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby davidkey » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:23 am

TonyIPI wrote:I believe Masterson may be our setup man in waiting once the starting rotation hopefully at some point establishes itself. For now you start him because you can and because we have limited options, but hopefully down the road more/better options come forth and allow him to fill that setup need we have in the pen.


It's been pointed out on here before that whether he starts or relieves, Masterson will not succeed unless he can find the plate more often, and early in the count. He falls behind way too often, and obviously walks a lot of guys. But there are tons of those 2-0, 3-1 counts where he doesn't end up walking the guy but rather grooves a get me over pitch that always seems to be middle of the plate, up, and gets hit a long way. He just doesn't have good enough control/command to get through a line-up 2.5 - 3 times and hence be a good starter long term.

As to projecting him for the pen......I assume he would drop the change-up from his repertoire (if he has one?) and just focus on throwing the fastball and slider, and throwing them hard. As a starter he sits at low/mid 90's, but tell him he only has to go 1 or 2 innings, doesn't need to pace himself, and can ramp that fastball up to a consistent mid 90's and go after guys. With this approach, and of course assuming better command/control, he can be a very, very good bullpen guys. Primarily against righties but also be able to get lefties out often enough too so that he can pitch a full inning or perhaps up to 2.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:17 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Anybody know how many more years we have control over Masterson?


At least 3.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby Edible14 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:09 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Anybody know how many more years we have control over Masterson?


At least 3.


According to TTD's service time listings, Masterson has 2.108 years service time. Meaning he should be arbitration eligible after this year. So... including this year it should be 4 years (unless he's sent down to Columbus at some point).
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:58 pm

Edible14 wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Anybody know how many more years we have control over Masterson?


At least 3.


According to TTD's service time listings, Masterson has 2.108 years service time. Meaning he should be arbitration eligible after this year. So... including this year it should be 4 years (unless he's sent down to Columbus at some point).


Well he said how many more so assumed he meant after this one :s_tongue

But yes, 3 arby years after this one.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby Prosecutor » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:16 am

Masterson's 2010 ERA's by month:

April 5.68
May 5.97
June 4.13
July 6.32

He pretty much got hammered for four months but then turned it around. In his next eight starts in July/Aug his ERA was 2.72. Then he finished the season in the bullpen to limit his innings.

Masterson said he figured out how to fix his mechanics during the game when they started to go bad. If he can continue to do that it will be huge.

Masterson turns 26 today. We have control of him for four more years. If he really has figured out how to keep his mechanics on track he could be an above average or even FOR starter for us through 2014.

This year we should find out whether that will be the case of if those last eight starts in 2010 were just a tease.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby homerawayfromhome » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:09 pm

This is in fact the yr to find out what part he will play in the future either a starter like he was acq. to be or another bullpen arm.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby ironmike » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:35 pm

Tony, I see no Indian farmhand on the horizon remotely close to having the stuff Masterson has. Besides they move pitchers through the minor league levels at a snail pace. Enjoy him while we have him. If he takes his regular turn on a consistent basis he will have a great chance in developing in to our number one starter.

Why is it a surprise Germano and Herrman have opportunities to make our team??? They both pitched very well last year.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby GeronimoSon » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:36 am

ironmike wrote:Tony, I see no Indian farmhand on the horizon remotely close to having the stuff Masterson has. Besides they move pitchers through the minor league levels at a snail pace. Enjoy him while we have him. If he takes his regular turn on a consistent basis he will have a great chance in developing in to our number one starter....Why is it a surprise Germano and Herrman have opportunities to make our team??? They both pitched very well last year.
Nick Hagadone and Kelvin de la Cruz, both tall lefties.. both pitch with a heavy downward moving fastballs, both with velo's that range from the mid low 90's on up.. have "stuff" that are very close to what Justin Masterson has. All three (including Pomeranz) may be in the mix for a call up during the 2011 season (Hagadone) or the 2012 season (all three).

How nice would it be to have three big strapping lefties that bring the heat, have hammer breaking balls and change ups that are all swing and miss pitches?.. Pomeranz, Hagadone & de la Cruz could be what's on the 'horizon'. We shall see...
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby homerawayfromhome » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:59 pm

I expect to Pomeranz rocket through the system this yr. DeLaCruz is set to rebound the further he is from the ucl sprain the better, I expect BIG things from him. Hagadone is the one I don't expect to see much improvement from. It's going to be interesting seeing these guys blossom to their full potential. As far as stuff I'd throw Knapp in bc of his potential to hit top 100mph in the near future, he is just 20 and could have more in there. Trey Haley has stuff but no control, he too is only 20 and could get it together. He could at least be a bullpen arm which would be disappointing, we shall see.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby Edible14 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:19 pm

homerawayfromhome wrote:I expect to Pomeranz rocket through the system this yr. DeLaCruz is set to rebound the further he is from the ucl sprain the better, I expect BIG things from him. Hagadone is the one I don't expect to see much improvement from. It's going to be interesting seeing these guys blossom to their full potential. As far as stuff I'd throw Knapp in bc of his potential to hit top 100mph in the near future, he is just 20 and could have more in there. Trey Haley has stuff but no control, he too is only 20 and could get it together. He could at least be a bullpen arm which would be disappointing, we shall see.


There's at least SOME reason to suspect that Hagadone will get back to being a legit prospect. Last year was his first season coming off of TJ surgery, and this season he should have better command. He has the stuff to at least be a really good reliever, and potentially a very good starter. It's just a matter of building him back up to being a starter and getting some command back. De La Cruz should also be better this year after TJ surgery.
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Re: Justin Masterson

Postby homerawayfromhome » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:50 pm

Hagadone will always be a high walk guy and he is 25. Pomeranz is only 22 and entering his first yr in the system. DeLaCruz did not have TJ, he did suffer a UCL strain but avoided surgery. His injury may not have been that severe, the Tribe may have been extra cautious seeking to prevent injury. As he gains strength and confidence he should improve.
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