Posts Tagged ‘Justin Masterson’

Prospect Probables: Who’s Pitching This Week?

While looking at the 453rd Google Alert item mentioning Collin Balester’s major league debut tomorrow against the Florida Marlins, I noticed that Clayton Kershaw is also scheduled to pitch.  This revelation led me to the MLB Schedules page at ESPN.com, where it quickly became apparent that many top pitching prospects will take the mound for their teams in the coming week.

And just like that, another weekly feature was born.

Call me biased toward the Red Sox and Yankees, but I think the most interesting matchups are slated for next weekend in The Bronx.  On Saturday, Boston youngster Justin Masterson goes against New York veteran Mike Mussina; the following day, the Yankees counter with their own prospect, Joba Chamberlain, against Sox elder statesman Tim Wakefield. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Kansas City @ Baltimore – Luke Hochevar (63) vs. Radhames Liz (69)
Texas @ New York Yankees – Kevin Millwood vs. Joba Chamberlain (3)
Washington @ Florida – Collin Balester (86) vs. Mark Hendrickson
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Houston – Clayton Kershaw (7) vs. Wandy Rodriguez

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Detroit @ Minnesota – Eddie Bonine vs. Nick Blackburn (56)

Thursday, July 3, 2008
Milwaukee @ Arizona – Manny Parra (72) vs. Brandon Webb
Philadelphia @ Atlanta – Brett Myers vs. Jair Jurrjens (49)
Chicago Cubs @ San Francisco – Sean Gallagher (82) vs. Tim Lincecum
Washington @ Cincinnati – John Lannan vs. Johnny Cueto (34)

Saturday, July 5, 2008
Boston @ New York Yankees – Justin Masterson (64) vs. Mike Mussina
Texas @ Baltimore – Eric Hurley (77) vs. Brian Burres

Sunday, July 6, 2008
Washington @ Cincinnati – Collin Balester (86) vs. Edinson Volquez
Texas @ Baltimore – Scott Feldman vs. Radhames Liz (69)
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay – Luke Hochevar (63) vs. James Shields
Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco – Clayton Kershaw (7) vs. Matt Cain
Boston @ New York – Tim Wakefield vs. Joba Chamberlain (3)

The Z-Meter: 5/1/2008

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.

Promoted:

Evan Longoria, 3B, Durham (AAA) to Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
Luke Hochevar, RHP, Omaha (AAA) to Kansas City Royals (MLB)

Max Scherzer, RHP, Tucson (AAA) to Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Travis Snider, OF, Dunedin (A-Advanced) to New Hampshire (AA)

Josh Vitters, 3B, Boise (Short A) to Peoria (A)

This week, OMDQ and I collaborated to add a few more lower-league reps to the Z-meter. In are Justin Masterson with the AA Portland Sea Dogs, bringing his pile of Ks with him. Also Ian Gac of the Clinton LumberKings, the Midwest League entrant for the Texas Rangers. And, finally, a most wonderful confluence of silly name and true ability: meet Antonio Bastardo of the Advanced-A Clearwater Threshers (Phillies), who is striking out batters at an epic rate.

Let’s see who’s hot this week:


The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, and ready for the call that will change their lives.

Jay Bruce, CF – Louisville Bats (Reds): .309 – 15R – 5HR – 18RBI – 6SB – .543 SLG – .876 OPS

Homer Bailey, RHP – Louisville Bats (Reds): 5GS – 3W – 2L – 1.95 ERA – 7BB – 22K

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .273 – 18R – 5HR – 14RBI – 4SB – .515 SLG – .889 OPS

Carlos Gonzalez, RF – Sacramento River Cats (Athletics): .343 – 11R – 3HR – 10RBI – 0SB – .514 SLG – .925 OPS

Ian Stewart, 3B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .281 – 23R – 6HR – 21RBI – 2SB – .584 SLG – .953 OPS

Joe Koshansky, 1B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .321 – 20R – 5HR – 17RBI – 0SB – .642 SLG – 1.075 OPS

Colby Rasmus, OF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .218 – 16R – 5HR – 12RBI – 4SB – .386 SLG – .702 OPS


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but are more likely to get promoted to the top of this meter first.

Clayton Kershaw, LHP – Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers): 5GS – 0W – 3L – 1.40 ERA – 10BB – 31K

Justin Masterson, RHP – Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox): 4GS – 1W – 0L – 0.95 ERA – 5BB – 23K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .266 – 14R – 1HR – 7RBI – 3SB – .367 SLG – .672 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 4GS – 2W – 1L – 3.32 ERA – 9BB – 21K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .214 – 13R – 3HR – 7RBI – 4SB – .369 SLG – .734 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .298 – 20R – 5HR – 14RBI – 0SB – .543 SLG – .937 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 5GS – 3W – 1L – 3.10 ERA – 9BB – 15K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .260 – 9R – 0HR – 10RBI – 4BB – 5SB – .310 SLG – .612 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, P – Tennessee Smokies (Cubs): 5GS – 2W – 2L – 3.12 ERA – 12BB – 14K

Luke Montz, C – Harrisburg Senators (Nationals): .371 – 9R – 5HR – 24RBI – 6BB – 0SB – .677 SLG – 1.098 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – Dunedin Blue Jays (Blue Jays): .103 – 3R – 0HR – 1RBI – 0SB – .103 SLG – .361 OPS


These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Clearwater Threshers (Phillies): 5GS – 2W – 0L – 1.17 ERA – 10BB – 47K

Ian Gac, 1B – Clinton LumberKings (Rangers): .390 – 22R – 9HR – 24RBI – 10BB – 1SB – .817 SLG – 1.302 OPS

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Tigers (Detroit): 5GS – 1W – 4L – 2.13 ERA – 6BB – 20K

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .214 – 1R – 0HR – 1RBI – 0BB – 0SB – .429 SLG – .643 OPS

Matt Wieters, C – Frederick Keys (Orioles): .353 – 15R – 5HR – 15RBI – 11BB – 1SB – .632 SLG – 1.059 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .190 – 6R – 1HR – 4RBI – 1SB – .226 SLG – .479 OPS

Eric Niesen, P – St. Lucie Mets (Mets): 4GS – 0W – 3L – 5.73 ERA – 12BB – 14K


Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and my own irrational sense of whimsy.

Now Pitching, For The Boston Red Sox…

Question: How do you turn Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Jon Lester into David Pauley, Jon Lester, and Justin Masterson?

Answer: Influenza

With a flu mini-epidemic tearing through the Red Sox clubhouse, the team turned today to yet another youngster, 23-year-old righthander Justin Masterson.  Boston’s second-round pick in the 2006 amateur draft, Masterson was brought up from AA Portland to make the start originally scheduled for Lester, who had actually pitched the night before on three days rest when Matsuzaka was too sick to go.

Masterson made his major league debut this afternoon, limiting the Los Angeles Angels to one run on two hits in six innings.  He struggled with his control a bit, walking four, but also struck out four.  The only run came on a fifth inning homerun by catcher Mike Napoli. 

He departed with a 3-1 lead and was in line to pick up the win before the bullpen trio of Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, and Hideki Okajima combined to allow four runs in the seventh (somehow, Okajima’s ERA emerged from the mess unscathed).

If I’m not mistaken, this means that every player the Red Sox offered to Minnesota in exchange for Johan Santana has seen action at Fenway Park this season (with the possible exception of Michael Bowden – I don’t remember if his name came up in the trade talks).  Masterson, Ellsbury, Lowrie, Lester, Crisp, Buchholz – am I leaving anyone out?  More importantly, all of those players have shown at least flashes of brilliance, helping Sox fans to understand why, exactly, Theo Epstein was so reluctant to part with them, even for a talent as transcendent as Santana’s.

(Thanks to YFSF for the tip on Masterson’s start)