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Cardinals demote trade deadline pickup Justin Masterson to the bullpen

Sep 2, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Justin Masterson Cardinals AP

At the trade deadline the Cardinals attempted to bolster their injury wrecked rotation with a pair of veterans by getting John Lackey from the Red Sox and Justin Masterson from the Indians.

Lackey has a 4.23 ERA through six starts, but Masterson has a 7.90 ERA in six starts and has now been demoted to the bullpen.

Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals will likely replace Masterson in the rotation with rookie Tyler Lyons or rookie Marco Gonzales, so clearly manager Mike Matheny has lost all faith in Masterson.

And rightfully so, because before struggling for the Cardinals he also struggled for the Indians and overall this season the impending free agent has a 6.03 ERA in 25 starts while pitching through multiple injuries. Masterson does have relief experience, but he hasn’t been used regularly out of the bullpen since 2009 and it’s hard to imagine the Cardinals trusting him in anything resembling a prominent late-inning role.

The cost to get Masterson from Cleveland was mid-level prospect James Ramsey, a 24-year-old outfielder and 2012 first-round draft pick. He was assigned to Triple-A following the trade and hit .284 with three homers and an .833 OPS in 28 games there to finish with an .890 OPS overall this year.

  1. SocraticGadfly - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    No, he’ll be replaced by Wacha on Thursday. And, can’t we send Masterson to Memphis? Well, we will to free a roster spot for Wacha, I know that.

    • Paper Lions - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      What would he do in Memphis, listen to music and eat ribs? They are in the AAA playoffs, but their season is pretty much over.

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM


        He’ll go to the pen and that’ll be that although ribs in Memphis does sound good about now.

      • spudchukar - Sep 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        He can also warm up a bench seat for Taveras. This is no time to “develop” a player. He isn’t helping the Cards win games, and that should be the only consideration. Either Bourjos or Grichuk is a better option. Let Taveras pinch hit when necessary.

        And what the hell is the matter with Matt Adams. It is like he suddenly forgot how to play. Whatever is the cause I sure hope he gets it together, because his play in the last week has been butt awful.

      • Paper Lions - Sep 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        It is like the Cardinals have one “awesome hitter” talisman and they just pass it around. Apparently, Jon Jay has had it for the last month.

      • SocraticGadfly - Sep 2, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        I’m with you, Spud. There’s somebody else who can fill out a roster spot better than him. Did the Justin Masterson Fan Club drop by to downvote me?

    • ud1951 - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      I see no point in having him pitch in the majors or AAA playoffs for the remainder of the season. The Cardinals are not going to even attempt to re-sign him. He can choose a spot on the end of the bench in the bullpen and wait until the other team builds a ten run lead, then he can warm up and have Matheny choose between him and Descalso to come in for the 9th. Tough call.

      As for him, I suspect his knee is still an issue, and favoring it has destroyed his mechanics. His offseason plans should include figuring out what is wrong with his knee, fixing that, then starting from scratch on his mechanics, then looking for a minor league deal with a ST invite.

  2. nsstlfan - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Rosters have expanded to the forty man roster so nobody has to be demoted.

    • Paper Lions - Sep 2, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      At least finish reading the headline before commenting.

  3. westcoastredbird - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Kinda cool yesterday watching El Gallo and Rosy back off the gas. Curves and change ups. Who knew. Yadi knew! Great to have him calling pitches again.

    • cincinata - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      All of you guys are wrong. Masterson should be dropped for the season and anybody from the AAA team should be brought up to replace him. Of course if you want the birds to lose, then bring him in relief with the tying or winning run on base to pitch. Guaranteed to lose. OK by me if it is OK Bayou

  4. 78mu - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    So, I guess pitching the entire game from the stretch didn’t work.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 2, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Lol! I think it may or may not have worked for one entire inning.
      Unfortunately, that inning was after they already lit him up.

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