Masterson in the pen vs. the rotation…
October 20th, 2008 by czar

I’d like to see the big, strong, strapping Masterson stretched out to be a starter, actually, which would create an important opening in the bullpen.

Masterson’s stuff plays up in the pen. He had a few good starts this season; but his peripherals out of the rotation were mediocre at best.


54 IP
40 Hits
22 ER
8 HR
28 BB
39 K
3.67 ERA


34.1 IP
28 Hits
9 ER
2 HR
12 BB
29 K
2.36 ERA

WHIP down, K/9 up, BB/9 way down, and HR/9 way down in the pen. Plus you are able to minimize the damage LHH (OPS of .787) are able to do against him by pitching him situationally (to an extent, of course). Being able to have Okajima-Masterson-Papelbon in the pen in 2009 will be a huge bridge between the starters and a W.

The notion of his stuff playing up is true given his limited time as a starter this year, but I don’t know if that reflects all that he’s capable of as a SP. I’d like to see him have a shot at the rotation in the spring, with the pen as his fall-back option again.

It’s been true his whole career. Aside from a spectacular two-month run at Portland last season; he has been no more than a slightly above-average SP pitching prospect (cumulative ERA over 4 across all levels of the minors, weak BB/9 rate, etc). From day 1, we’ve heard every scout who has watched him say that he has a future ahead of him as a setup guy at the big league level.

With Buchholz and Bowden (neither of which project to the pen currently, like Masterson does) in the pipeline, I’d much rather groom him (Masterson) as a reliever this offseason in the hopes he can build up the ability to recover more quickly from short outings (and further improve on his 7th and 8th inning skills) rather than spend a few months stretching him back out; only to have to “shorten” him back up again when we fill out the rotation.

Posted in Message Board Ramblings

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