Red Sox right-hander Justin Masterson had another rough start Tuesday, failing to make it out of the third inning against the A’s while allowing six runs, and his ERA now stands at 6.37.
After the game Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that the team is considering its options with Masterson, saying “clearly he’s not right” to suggest a disabled list stint could be around the corner:
So we’ve got to gather some information overnight, we’ve got to check on him when he comes in in the morning, get a full work-up and just get a better assessment of where things are.
However, when asked minutes later about his health status Masterson made it very clear that he’s not hurt:
Other than not making good pitches? No. I never had a chance to feel comfortable. I didn’t feel comfortable in the pre-game bullpen, as far as just being able to get a good release point. … As we discuss right now, I’m more than capable [of making his next start Sunday]. I really think it’s not anything too extreme at this point.
Obviously there’s a big difference between a pitcher being injured and a pitcher’s mechanics being a mess, but either way the Red Sox may not want Masterson in the rotation for a while seven starts into a one-year, $9.25 million deal.
Two days after firing pitching coach Juan Nieves the Red Sox have decided on a replacement, hiring 54-year-old Carl Willis away from the Indians organization.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Willis will join the team today, leaving his position as Triple-A pitching coach for the Indians after the Red Sox received permission to interview him.
Willis has been a big-league pitching coach for the Indians and the Mariners, and has experience working with Red Sox manager John Farrell from their time together in Cleveland’s farm system. CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Felix Hernandez all won Cy Young awards with Willis as their pitching coach, for whatever that’s worth.
Willis replaces Nieves, who won the World Series in his first season on the job in 2013 and was fired in his third season on the job thanks to Red Sox pitchers having the worst ERA in the league. Willis’ biggest challenge will be turning around a rotation that lacks No. 1/No. 2 starters and currently features ugly ERAs across the board from Rick Porcello (4.38), Justin Masterson (5.18), Joe Kelly (5.72), Clay Buchholz (6.03), and Wade Miley (6.91).
Boston has found the fall guy–or at least the first fall guy–for a pitching staff that ranks dead last among AL teams in runs allowed, firing pitching coach Juan Nieves.
Nieves has held the job since 2013 and Boston won the World Series in his first season, but since the beginning of last year the Red Sox rank 12th among AL teams in runs allowed.
There were plenty of question marks attached to Boston’s rotation coming into the season because of the lack of a clear-cut No. 1 starter, but no one could have expected Justin Masterson, Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, and Wade Miley all to have ERAs above (and several way above) 5.00.
No replacement has been named yet.