July 30, 2014

#Cardinals make minor pitching move; I'm underwhelmed

Well, Mike Matheny now has his Saturday starter..

Too bad it's Justin Masterson.

In a decidedly underwhelming move, the Birds have acquired the enigmatic Cleveland pitcher, a free agent at the end of the year, in exchange for AA outfielder James Ramsey.

No big overpay, no. But, no real help for the team.

Since becoming a full-time starter, Masterson has alternated good and crappy years, and he's on a crappy year this year. And, this year's the crappiest yet of them.

Even in his better years, Masterson has a low K/BB ratio. And until last year, he wasn't a big K guy in general. Add in that he'll be coming off a DL stint on Friday, and I'm even less impressed. Miklasz claims, along with a few fans, that his FIP says he's better than that. I disagree. Contra Bernie, his bad WHIP is not all a problem with bad luck on batted balls in play; his walk rate is the second-worst of his career and the worst since he became a full-time starter. Bernie says that he talked about Masterson's walk rate as much as his bad luck on batted balls in play, etc., but I'm not totally convinced.

Shockingly, David Schoenfield agrees with my thought, that Masterson will provide little boost. He says he does expect him to be of some help against the righty-heavy Brew Crew, but then notes:
While Masterson's ultimate performance is unpredictable, especially given his knee issue, he's probably not a big upgrade over what the Cardinals have received so far from their back-end guys. The risk for St. Louis was continuing to rely on Miller or Martinez; Masterson should at least provide a little more certainty than those two offered.
Yet more analysis of that trade here.

Maybe a change of leagues will help. But, it can't help that much. And the Cards no longer have Dave Duncan as pitching coach to perform salvage work on guys like this.

Plus, the Cards got somebody who's kind of full of himself. ESPN reminds us that, preseason, he wanted $17M a year.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Again, not a huge overpay to surrender a mid-level OF prospect for a two-month rental. But, it is a mental overpay to expect what I think Mo is expecting from a man named Justin Masterson, not Bat Masterson.

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