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Storylines: Masterson dealing with knee issue

Storylines: Masterson dealing with knee issue
Justin Masterson pitching in 2011. (Chuck Crow / The Plain Dealer)
June 27, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.

Here are the stories from Thursday, June 26.

Tribe News:

  • Indians starter Justin Masterson has been dealing with a "nagging" knee issue since early in the season, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Soreness in his right knee has lingered since his second start of the year, Masterson stated, and now will cause him to miss at least one outing. It remains to be seen what this could mean for Masterson's status as a pending free agent (and possible qualifying offer recipient or even trade candidate). The righty has seen his ERA jump from a 3.45 mark over 193 innings last year to the 5.03 level in his 93 frames in 2014, though his peripherals and ERA estimators show less cause for concern. The larger issue, perhaps, is the fact that his average fastball velocity has dropped from 93.1 mph last year down to 90.5 mph this season. 
  • Meanwhile, in response to a reader question,'s Jordan Bastian wrote that Masterson's diminished velocity may have played a role in the club's decision not to come up to the righty's asking price for an extension. The hurler's historical inconsistency may have been the greater factor, Bastian said.

News and Notes:

  • Though he has increased his value with a recent string of outstanding starts, Mets hurler Bartolo Colon is not likely to be dealt, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported. The club is disinclined to sell, Martino said, and expects to have plenty of need for the veteran next year — even with the expected return of Matt Harvey and rise of younger arms.
  • According to's Alden Gonzalez and Matthew DeFranks, the Angels have or will look into Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit of the Padres, Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo of the Phillies, and Jim Johnson of the Athletics.
  • White Sox GM Rick Hahn says that recent draftee Carlos Rodon (who went third overall) could be in the club's rotation as early as next year, according to Dan Hayes of
  • Brandon McCarthy of the Diamondbacks could be the ideal buy-low starting pitching target, Ben Nicholson-Smith of wrote.
  • The Phillies may ultimately decide to part with some veterans, but David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News questioned whether they will get much in return. Marlon Byrd has a lower OPS and less home runs — and is owed a lot more money — than was the case last year when he was dealt for a less-than-overwhelming return. John Mayberry Jr. has been on the block for some time, and his hot start does not mean he'll suddenly bring back a haul. And even Cliff Lee is not nearly as valuable as one might think, Murphy said, owing to his significant remaining guarantee and current arm issues.
  • While a great deal of focus has been placed on whether or not the Mets should trade second baseman Daniel Murphy, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported that a long-term deal between the two sides isn't out of the question either.
  • The Astros outrighted reliever Kyle Farnsworth, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. Houston selected the contract of Jose Veras to take his place on the active roster. Farnsworth declined to accept an assignment and instead elected free agency,'s Brian McTaggart reported.
  • The White Sox have designated veteran lefty Scott Downs for assignment, reports Jon Heyman of
  • The Mariners released first baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady from their Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reported. It was later reported by Mike Curto that Nady actually exercised an opt-out clause in his deal with the Mariners.
  • After being designated for assignment by the Rangers on Tuesday, outfielder/first baseman Brad Snyder cleared waivers, according to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. The 32-year-old is still deciding whether or not to accept his assignment or instead become a free agent.

User Comments

C L Who
June 27, 2014 - 3:19 PM EDT
It doesn't seem like this soreness would be a meniscus tear, as that should negatively affect ordinary walking and not just pitching. Could have pulled a muscle or a quadriceps tendon or something like that. By now, I would have thought the team would have run his knee through an MRI to see what's up.
June 27, 2014 - 2:14 PM EDT
Anyone else find it strange that if his knee has really been an issue since April that pushing him back a few days would improve it???? Makes no sense. If it's that's why he's struggling you would think more than a few extra days would be needed?

Unless he really tuns things around he's gone. But between him and cabby that's about 22 million cleared for next year!!

The low offer by the team earlier proved they have doubts. Many more doubts now.
June 27, 2014 - 10:51 AM EDT
I thought that a pitcher a need to have a strong health lower body in order to take strain off on pitchers elbow and shoulder. He should have been on the DL in April. We could have used Bauer's hot start at the beginning of the year while Masterson healed the knee.

Masterson has blown a chance to maximize his FA year. Indians have blown the opportunity to maximize his trade value.

Based on Masterson's history good year/bad/good/bad, I would offer him the QO at the end of year. If he accepts the Indians would benefit of him having a good year from in 15.

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