Justin Masterson was destined to become a solid major league pitcher. But when trying to improve the team prior to the 2009 trade deadline, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein knew he had to give up talent to get talent, which is why he shipped Masterson and his potential to the Cleveland Indians in a deal for Victor Martinez.
Masterson was a versatile pitcher for the Red Sox. It was always believed that he would someday become a full-time starter, but with the Red Sox rotation already set, Masterson willingly accepted a role in the back end of the Sox bullpen, in addition to making occasional spot starts.
He compiled a 3.16 ERA for the Sox in 36 appearances — nine starts — in 2008. He became one of their more reliable relievers down the stretch, earning himself a chance to pitch in nine postseason games — including five ALCS games.
But with the Sox needing some more offensive punch in 2009, Masterson was shipped to the Indians, where he struggled at first. He went 1-7 with a 4.55 ERA with the Tribe the rest of the way before going 6-13 in 2010.
This season, though, the 26-year-old has blossomed into a very good big league starter. He enters Monday's start against his former team with a 5-2 record to go along with a 2.52 ERA in nine starts. Masterson has won his last five starts, as his only two blemishes this season came in his first two starts.
With the Cleveland Indians offense coming alive in 2011, Masterson is getting the run support necessary to pick up wins.
So how many games will Justin Masterson win in 2011? Share your thoughts below.
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