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Justin Masterson is a mess one year after being an All-Star

Jul 8, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT

justin masterson getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Sure enough, the Indians have placed Masterson on the disabled list with right knee inflammation.

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Maybe the Indians knew something when they balked at Justin Masterson‘s seemingly reasonable contract extension demands.

Masterson, who recently admitted to pitching through knee problems for most of the season, failed to make it out of the third inning last night against the Yankees and his ERA now stands at 5.51 after making the All-Star team last season on the way to a 3.45 ERA.

Masterson’s last three starts have been 4.0 innings, 3.0 innings, and 2.0 innings. Dating back to mid-May he’s logged fewer than 5.0 innings in six of 10 starts, posting a 7.01 ERA and 41/33 K/BB ratio in 44 innings during that span.

After last night’s ugly performance Jordan Bastian of MLB.com asked Masterson what’s up and the 29-year-old right-hander didn’t have many answers:

I think I feel good. I don’t know. Who knows? It’s one of those where it’s a tick [off]. You’re so close and yet you’re so far away. I felt like tonight was going to be such a great one. We had a great bullpen session, got some good things in. Something so, so tiny can make such a big difference when you’re  going 60 feet, six inches.

Given the revelation about his knee problems putting Masterson on the disabled list seems like the easiest solution, at least in the short term. He’s not helping himself or the Indians right now and there’s an actual physical problem at play. He’ll be a free agent in three months and suddenly Masterson’s odds of landing a huge contract on the open market aren’t looking so good.

  1. jtk1985 - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    He is the Josh Cribbs of the Indians. Good year, poor year, good year poor year. Just look at his ERA since coming to Cleveland. 4.70, 3.21, 4.93, 3.45, 5.51

  2. pisano - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Hard to believe, this guy was an ace last year. I watched him last night and couldn’t believe it was the same guy. I hope for his sake he gets straightened out, he has a great arm.

  3. timmmah10 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    This guy was traded at our fantasy deadline for a first round pick from son to father. I called it collusion then, and I definitely call it collusion now!

    But that might just be the Ruxin in me…

  4. carpi2 - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Once he gets right, he can be a good FA steal for a team

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