Red Sox plan to convert Masterson into reliever after Triple-A stint
BOSTON -- The Red Sox optioned starting pitcher Justin Masterson to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, with plans to convert him into a relief pitcher.
Manager Terry Francona said the team is preparing to recall right-hander Clay Buchholz, who will take Masterson's spot as the fifth starter. Buchholz was sent to the minors to work on his fastball command after spending the last two weeks of May on the disabled list.
"We think getting Justin getting acclimated to the bullpen has a chance to really help our ball club," Francona said. "There's a couple of ways to do it. You could just give him the ball and send him out there. I don't think that's the best way to develop somebody to pitch meaningful innings. So we sat him down and talked about it."
Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter in his second major league start on Sept. 1, against Baltimore, struggled in his first eight starts this season for Boston. He was 2-3 with a 5.53 ERA before tearing the nail on his right middle finger.
For now, the Red Sox recalled first baseman Jeff Bailey from Pawtucket to take Masterson's place on the roster.
"We wanted to, at some point, get Clay back here and get him in the rotation and I think we've been alluding to and talking about that," Francona said. "We'll go from there.
"There's not a firm timetable but the idea is to get him acclimated to where he can help us. In the meantime, Jeff Bailey will be here until we can activate Clay."
The team later said Buchholz is expected to start Friday against Baltimore.
The right-handed Masterson has been impressive as a rookie starter, going 4-3 with a 3.67 ERA in nine starts. He lost his last two starts, including Saturday, when he allowed two runs in six innings at Yankee Stadium.
With a sinking fastball and slider, Masterson is considered a weapon against right-handed batters, who are batting just .170 against him.
The Red Sox have been looking for consistency from their middle relief corps as a bridge to closer Jonathan Papelbon. Relievers Mike Timlin, Craig Hansen, Hideki Okajima and Manny Delcarmen have all struggled at times in the seventh and eighth innings.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
Somebody send a wakeup call to Jocketty and Castellini, for gods sake Walt Jocketty, how long are you going to sit on your glorified past and backside?
Get up, get moving, the boss is in no mood to continue losing, if you can believe him, I can't.
Jocketty you have nothing, but relievers outside of Volquez, Cueto and Harang, surely you, with your dyamic history, you could make a deal with Boston for Masterson and more than fulfill their needs for a reliever.
Send them a compliment a Arroyo, Affeldt and one of your DH's in the form of a Griffey or Dunn (big pappi and Manny occasionally have problems) that are going to be heading off to greener pastures and winning organizations next year anyway. Of course I would not pretend to have your negotiating skills, or eye for talent, I know that you can make a better arrangements here than I could.
Since when has a Reds organization had enough starting pitching?
Get up Jocketty, :deadhorse show us some due dilligence and proactive demonstration of your abilities. Money should be no object to an ownership group that is motivated to win. This kid is young and cheap, and would look nice next to Volquez and Cueto next year. The Reds could close the gap on becoming a winning team this year for the first time in many years with the addition of Masterson.
What? someone is going to tell me that Masterson would not at least be the answer to the Reds problem finding a fifth starter? :ughmamoru I think not.
What a disgrace he lost his last two games to the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay, 2-1 and 5-4