Cleveland Indians’ manager Terry Francona officially named Justin Masterson the starting pitcher for the team’s Opening Day contest early Tuesday afternoon from Goodyear, Arizona. This will be Masterson’s second-consecutive Opening Day start, once again against the Toronto Blue Jays — this time, on the road.
“As the ace, I look to be the leader of the staff and set an example and go out there and set the tone,” said Masterson, following his outing on Monday. “You do that by going out and performing, which didn’t always happen last year. So my goal is to be the leader of this pitching staff and to set the example, and when something needs to happen, guys will look to me to go out there and get the job done.”
Masterson is coming off a down season in 2012, where he posted a 4.93 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, and 159/88 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 206 innings in 34 starts. The right-hander had a 3.21 ERA in 2011. Francona and Masterson have a history from their respective days with the Boston Red Sox.
Masterson will be followed by Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers in the starting rotation, with the final two spots to be decided in spring training — it is believed that Zach McAllister, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Scott Kazmir are vying for those two remaining spots with prospect Trevor Bauer opening the year in Columbus with the Clippers (Triple-A).