Don’t Forget About Quintin Berry

quintin berry

As Spring Training approaches, the Boston Red Sox already appear to have a major problem—way too many outfielders and a suspect, at best, starting rotation. Questions lurk around the five guys who will be starting on a regular basis in Boston. Where is the ace? How long before they tank? Why did they pay Justin Masterson $9.5 million? What about the outfield?
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The Red Sox have a plethora of outfielders—too many in fact. It is clear that one outfielder in particular (likely Allen Craig) will have to be dealt as the team condenses down to 25 men in April for Opening Day, but it is unclear what Boston will receive in return as they seem to have their heart set on going into the year with a hand-picked rotation.

Even when an outfielder is dealt, the team will still have plenty of depth at the position. Not only will they have three guys on the bench who can play all three positions (including Brock Holt), but they will also have talent down in Pawtucket.
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quintin berryThe three starting outfielders projected for the Paw Sox this season are Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz and Quintin Berry. While Bradley is an excellent defender, Brentz is a powerful hitter who clobbers lefties and Berry is a serious stolen base threat; the team’s three viable call-up options and Boston will have choices depending on the scenario.

Back in 2013, Berry, who is a perfect 25-for-25 in MLB stolen base attempts from 2012-2014, helped the Boston Red Sox win a World Series as a pinch runner on the post-season roster. Despite only being used once the rosters expanded, he found his way onto the playoff roster as the team no longer needed to carry five starting pitchers.

Currently, Berry is not on the 40-man roster and has no options remaining. If the team does in fact turn to his services—they will need to do so wisely. If they need to call him up and send him back down, they are out of luck and he will be exposed to the waiver wire where someone will surely bite.
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September will roll around eventually and if Boston finds themselves in a similar situation as they were in back in 2013, do not be surprised to see his number called once again—whatever it may be.

Red Sox Reunite with Justin Masterson

justin masterson

This one might just be bigger than Lebron James’ return to Cleveland.

According to Buster Onley on twitter, the Boston Red Sox signed a familiar face in Justin Masterson who is coming off the weakest year of his career. He is set to earn $9.5 million for a one-year deal.
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The Jamaican born pitcher posted a 5.88 ERA in 28 appearances last season, 25 of justin mastersonwhich were starts. He was not pitching in the best of health (he had a knee injury) and is one year removed from being an All-Star, making it a low-risk high-reward scenario.

In the past of course, Masterson was once a member of the Boston Red Sox and served an important role for the team.

Drafted in the second round of the 2006 MLB draft out of San Diego State University, he made his MLB debut in 2008, and spent the rest of that and the following season as a member of the Boston Red Sox until he was dealt in a package trade that sent Victor Martinez from the Cleveland Indians to the Boston Red Sox.
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In his time in Boston, Masterson was a swing man who made both starts and relieved, and did so effectively. During his stint in Boston, Masterson made 67 appearances, 15 of which were starts.

Since it seems clear that the club is still in search of a number one starter, it will be interesting to see whether or not the club puts Masterson back into his old role. He could bounce back and pitch effectively as a starter, but the team could also hoard talent and put Masterson in a relief role only to take him out if they need a starter.
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Bringing Justin Masterson back to Boston seems like the move fans will be most happy about as they were disappointed to see him go just five years ago. It seems like he was traded forever ago, but now he is back where he belongs.

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 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.