March 5, 2013
The other day, the Cleveland Indians announced that Justin Masterson will be their starter on Opening Day, barring some sort of injury. One might consider this damning with faint praise, as the Indians aren't even necessarily ankle deep in proven quality starters, but what this provides is an opportunity to talk a little bit about Masterson, and what he is, and what he could be, maybe. Masterson stands to be important if this year's Indians are to make a run for the playoffs. Masterson stands to be in the majors for a while yet, as he's only 27 and as he's demonstrated that he can throw 200 reasonable innings.
We have a pretty good idea of the Justin Masterson skillset. He's got a big, sweeping motion and he leans heavily on a low-90s sinker. Sometimes he'll threaten to go entire games without throwing anything else. Masterson keeps the ball on the ground, he strikes out about one batter for every six, and he issues the occasional walk. Last year, he posted about the same FIP as Jon...