Will Justin Masterson be another Pirates Masterpiece?
With the latest addition, the Pittsburgh Pirates will have to do some maneuvering to accommodate all of their starting pitching depth.
Consistency, it’s not the first term that would be used to describe Justin Masterson, who was signed a few hours ago to a minor league deal by the Pittsburgh Pirates. You can find his full career stats as part of Jason Rollison’s initial thoughts here. Drafted in the second round of the 2006 amateur draft, Masterson has yet to fulfill the top of the rotation potential that made him so highly regarded early in his career.
It started out bright when he made his major league debut on April 24, 2008 with the Red Sox against the Los Angeles Angels. He allowed one run over six innings in that start. That year, Masterson would go on to post a 3.67 ERA over nine starts and a 2.36 ERA as a reliever. For his career, he holds a 4.42 ERA as a starter and a 3.17 ERA as a reliever. Both sound equally bad, but in baseball, statistics are only half of the story.
For his entire career, Masterson has been treated as a swing man capable of starting or coming out of the bullpen. He has only had two season in which he was exclusively used as a starter. That approach can be mentally and emotionally taxing on a pitcher, especially one expected to be an up and coming superstar in the sport when he made his debut.