KANSAS CITY — The Indians believe that a having a healthy Justin Masterson for the final two months of the season have a similar impact as introducing an arm via a trade.
Masterson, who was simply Clevelands Opening Day starter with the third year in a row this season, is currently on the 15-day disabled listing with a right knee matter. The big right-hander will make a second Minimal League rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Friday.
Indians manager Terry Francona was asked on Thursday exactly what he can expect from Masterson after the sinkerballer returns, possibly after Fridays rehabilitation start.
The best would be with regard to him to get hot, as well as what a kick in the shorts that would be for us, Francona claimed. What a boost. Because he has that ability — we all know it — and also weve seen bits and pieces. We just have never seen him really put it together too much. If he might get hot, that would be this sort of pickup for us.
I mean, you think that back to what he performed for us [last season] and what he means to us. Itd almost be like making a trade. The first halfs also been so tough for your ex. Thatd be really thrilling.
Through 19 starts this season — his last coming on July Seven — Masterson has gone 4-6 with a 5.1951 ERA with 93 strikeouts as well as 56 walks in Before 2000 innings. As a first-time American League All-Star in 2013, the righty won Fourteen games, posted a A few.45 ERA and piled-up 195 strikeouts in 193 innings.
In a Minor League trip for Columbus on Sunday, Masterson logged five innings and gave up a couple of runs on five hits along with six strikeouts and two walks. As part of his start on Friday, Masterson will not face any kind of pitch limit.
We need to get him a little further into your game, Francona said. We advised him, we said, Hey, move treat this like a big game. Get after this a little bit. I think thatd be good for him, to be able to kind of just get after it, let it fly, and see how far he can carry of which into the game.