Indians Plan to Transition Masterson into a Starter

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There is a casualty in every blockbuster trade. There is always someone who goes from a championship contender to a cellar-dweller, someone who spent the past four months fighting tooth and nail for every win who must now get used to coming to work and fighting for next year, not October.

Forgive the dramatization. Justin Masterson just tends to have that effect.

The happy-go-lucky reliever, who spent upwards of a year with the Red Sox, was shipped to Cleveland with two prospects in exchange for Victor Martinez on Friday. But there's a silver lining to every cloud: While Masterson was forced to fulfill the role of a reliever for much of his career in Boston, it seems he's going to be able to wear the starter's shoes in Cleveland — for good.

According to the Chronicle-Telegram, Masterson will begin his Indians career as a reliever but will transition into a starter once he improves his change-up.

"They're two different things," Masterson told the newspaper of starting versus relieving. "There's a lot of good things about both. Whatever the opportunity, I just want to pitch well."

Masterson does not disagree that he needs to improve certain pitches before he makes a sound transition into a starting role.

"[A better change-up] is not necessarily something I need to be successful, but I think, for anyone, you need to develop as a player," he said. "It's something that can help me have a longer career."

The 24-year-old right-hander compiled a 3-3 record with a 4.50 ERA in
31 appearances with Boston this year. He has never started more than
nine games in a season.

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