It was only a matter of time, but Justin Masterson has been named Opening Day starter for Cleveland when the Tribe heads to the Bay Area and takes on the Oakland As on March 31.
The 28-year-old is coming off an All-Star season in which he posted a 3.45 ERA with 195 strikeouts over 193 innings. He continues to be the subject of back-and-forth contract talk as the player and his agent recently stated that he would be willing to take a shorter-term deal to stay with the team. Masterson’s Cactus League ERA remains at a nice 0.00 through eight innings. He didn’t allow a hit to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, though he did walk one and hit two. Slacker.
“I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but I like where we’re at,” said Masterson of his spring. “We’re along the path, in the zone, the ball’s moving really good, which is always exciting, and I’m hitting a few people here and there.”
Masterson, who will making his third straight Opening Day start joins CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Dennis Martinez, Gaylord Perry, Mel Harder, George Uhle, Stan Coveleski, Willie Mitchell, and Bob Feller as players who have started three consecutive Opening Days for the Tribe1. Assuming the rotation holds, a new and improved Zach McAllister appears geared for the start during the team’s Home Opener.
(Image: Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer)
- Sabathia, Colon, Martinez, and Perry were all pitching for different teams the following season [↩]