Red Sox Interested in Justin Masterson

justin mastersonAccording to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, the Boston Red Sox have inquired about a familiar face at the GM meetings this off-season.

Their interest is in former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson who was last a member of the St. Louis Cardinals this past season.
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Masterson, 29, was not his sharp self in 2014 making 28 appearances, 25 of which were starts posting a 5.88 ERA in 128.2 innings in which he struck out 116 men. He was easy to hit though, as opposing hitters hit .283 off the sidearm pitcher.

Even though statistically speaking, 2014 was Justin Masterson’s worst season to date, there still was a lot that he did right.
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For example, he struck out 8.14 hitters per nine innings, a rate which puts him among the top of the league. Right-handed hitters were not what killed Masterson, it was southpaws. While lefties hit .320 off him, he held righties to a measly .239 batting average. Not to mention he finished the year as a reliever and had three scoreless outings in relief where he went 3.1 innings in all.

A year removed from an All-Star year, Masterson went 14-10 in 2013 with a 3.45 ERA. Going 193 innings, he struck out 195 men and hitters hit just .222 off the Jamaican born pitcher. There is no question as to whether or not he is an effective pitcher, the question is: will he be able to execute as a starter?
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As a member of the Boston Red Sox, Justin Masterson served a valuable role for the team so it would be interesting to see if they use him there again. In 67 outings for the Red Sox, he made 15 starts and posted a 3.76 ERA in 160.1 innings of work where he struck out 135 batters in all.
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Keith Law from ESPN.com suggested that Justin Masterson would make an effective reliever given his inability to pitch against left-handed hitters, but there may be a better role for him. Masterson was highly-effective in his old role as a swing man so it would not be surprising to see the Red Sox get him back after they were kicking themselves five years ago because they had to trade him to get Victor Martinez.

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