Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Bill James Projections: Justin Masterson

2010: 6-13, 29 starts, 180 IP, 4.70 ERA, 73 BB, 140 SO
2011 projection: 9-10, 26 starts, 175 IP, 4.11 ERA, 73 BB, 147 SO
2011: 12-10, 33 starts, 216 IP, 3.21 ERA, 65 BB, 158 SO
2012 projection: 11-12, 32 starts, 205 IP, 3.82 ERA, 70 BB, 164 SO
2012: 11-15, 34 starts, 206.1 IP, 4.93 ERA, 88 BB, 159 SO
2013 projection: 10-12, 34 starts, 204 IP, 4.01 ERA, 79 BB, 160 SO
2013: 14-10, 29 starts, 193 IP, 3.45 ERA, 76 BB, 195 SO
2014 projection: 10-12, 30 starts, 198 IP, 3.82 ERA, 78 BB, 165 SO
2014: 7-9, 25 starts, 128.2 IP, 5.88 ERA,  69 BB, 116 SO
2015 projection: 9-13, 31 starts, 194 IP, 4.22 ERA, 93 BB, 164 SO

 As much as I liked Victor Martinez, and as happy as I was to see him come to the Red Sox in 2009, I was always a little sour about that deal requiring Justin Masterson's departure.

Masterson was a home grown guy who came to the mound every outing determined to win. He had a funky delivery and a goofy smile on his face, and he seemed like the kind of person everyone wants to be around.

All that said, the deal was a good one for the Red Sox at the time - but it also means that I was totally ecstatic to see Masterson signing a free agent deal with the Sox this offseason.

No, there isn't an obvious ace in the Sox 2015 rotation, and it's unlikely Masterson will evolve into one overnight. But the front office has put together a staff of solid pitchers, and seem content to assume one or more of them will have a good-to-excellent season.

Joe Kelly's self-confidence aside, Justin Masterson would love to be the guy who steps up big for Boston this year. He signed a one-year deal in the hope that he'll perform well and be able to cash in next season.

Obviously, Masterson's numbers haven't been great for the last few years, but he's also struggled with lingering injuries. Already in Fort Myers, Masterson reports he's pain free for the first time in a long while.

If Masterson can only deliver what Bill James and his team projected for him in 2015, the Red Sox will have seemingly wasted $9.5 million. But the contract has an additional $2.5 million in incentives, and Masterson's health is keeping me optimistic.

I think we'll see a big year from Masterson in 2015. At the very least, it'll be nice to see him in a Red Sox uniform once again.

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