It has been reported by Cleveland sportswriter Paul Hoynes that the Detroit Tigers are among multiple teams interested in SP Justin Masterson.
"Masterson, 30, has received inquiries from the four other teams in the AL Central – Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota and Chicago"
With it almost being certain that Max Scherzer is leaving Detroit, the Tigers will need a pitcher to fill the void Scherzer leaves. But that task should not be placed in the hands of Justin Masterson.
Masterson, the owner of a career 4.24 ERA, has spent seven years in the majors, six of them with the Cleveland Indians (poor guy). Though he serves as a nice backup option and a cheap arm, the once-highly touted prospect has never been anything more than an average pitcher. After a 2013 All Star campaign, it looked as though Masterson was a true ace, but returned to normality in 2014.
2014 Stats: 5.88 ERA, 116 strikeouts, 7-9 record, 29 Games Started
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Perhaps the biggest issue with Masterson, and one that would effect the Tigers, is his inability to pitch a ton of innings. Since totaling a career-high 216 IP in 2011, the number of innings Masteron’s pitched has decreased drastically every year, bottoming out to 128.2 IP in 2014. Detroit needs innings-eaters to alleviate stress on the bullpen.
Though it’s easy to understand why Detroit is interested in him, it’s tough to see Masterson having any sort of positive effect on the team. With a ballooning ERA and high risk of injury, there are areas where money would be better spent, such as the bullpen or outfield. In an article from July 8th, the Associated Press elaborated on Masterson’s prolonged struggles.
"Masterson made the All-Star team last season (2013) when he went 14-10 with three shutouts. The Indians considered him to be their staff ace going into the season, but Masterson hasn’t won since June 8 and has pitched more than four innings once in his last five starts."
It’s a universally known fact that there’s no such thing as too much pitching, but in this case, Masterson would hurt the team more than he’d help it.
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