ST. LOUIS (Baseball STL) -- The first move the Cardinals made of the trade deadline – the precursor to the big deal with Boston for John Lackey – was to get Justin Masterson from Cleveland in exchange for talented prospect James Ramsey.
Ramsey was never looked at as a future superstar. He was blocked in AA despite putting up monster power numbers for Springfield (13 home runs in just 243 at-bats). But he had a nice future as a big league outfielder. If not for the Cardinals, for another organization as a trade chip.
Well GM John Mozeliak decided to cash the 24-year old in as a trade chip in late July for Masterson. He knew full well the former Indians All Star was a free agent at the end of the year and would likely bolt for another club. He was just a rental and they decided to make the move with Ramsey anyway.
After five starts of Justin Masterson as a St. Louis Cardinal it’s quite obvious they flat out wasted their former 1st round pick out of Florida State.
There’s really no sugar coating it. Masterson’s been terrible. Just flat out awful. His base numbers are embarrassing (7.43 ERA and a .311 opponents’ batting average) but it goes beyond that. He is always falling behind hitters, he’s never giving his team a chance to win and he’s showing very little confidence on the mound.
Now after just five starts his place in the rotation – as it should be – is in serious jeopardy.
The Cards are about to enter September in a race to the finish for a postseason spot and they just can’t afford to give Masterson any more chances to get himself right. Each and every game from here on out is like a playoff game. One loss could mean the difference between playing in October and going home after the regular season.
It’s one thing to give guys a chance in the first few months of the season but not in September. Not anymore.
Tyler Lyons was fantastic in relief Saturday afternoon with 4.2 of one-hit ball with no walks and 8 strikeouts. Marco Gonzales looked like a different pitcher from when we’ve previously seen him in the nightcap of the doubleheader by going six innings and giving up just one run.
Both of those guys would be prime candidates to start until Michael Wacha is ready to come back in the rotation. Anyone but Justin Masterson. He was a waste to trade for.
And James Ramsey was wasted as a result.