Justin Masterson’s pitching career with the Boston Redsox has come full circle. He was drafted by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2006 MLB Draft from San Diego State University. He quickly became one of the best pitching prospects in the minor league system. After two seasons of switching back from being a reliever to converting to a starting pitcher, On July 31, 2009, Masterson was traded by Boston along with minor league prospects Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Victor Martinez.
Fast forward to 2015, The Justin Masterson experiment is officially over for the Sox. Masterson was designated for assignment Sunday by the Boston Red Sox, a move that came as little surprise to the 30-year-old right-hander. Last winter the team took a $9.5 million gamble that Masterson, an All-Star in 2013 for the Cleveland Indians, could bounce back from an injury-filled 2014 season.
He has not been able to stay healthy again this year as the sinker baller found himself on the DL for five weeks with what the club called shoulder tendinitis, came back to make two starts and then was moved to the bullpen on July 10, with mixed results. In nine appearances out of the pen, most of which came in low-pressure situations, Masterson had a 3.63 ERA.
The decision to designate a great clubhouse presence guy like Justin Masterson for assignment after Sunday’s 7-2 win over the Detroit Tigers puts the focus on the future. Despite the Sox poor record, Boston has multiple young players who have stepped up and showed they can contribute going forward. And that’s a positive for the Red Sox.