A couple of brief items about a current, and a former, Indians pitcher – Justin Masterson, obviously the strongest member of the starting staff last season, just underwent shoulder surgery this past week. Fortunately, the surgery wasn’t on his pitching shoulder; he had a torn labrum repaired on his left shoulder. It wasn’t considered serious, and Masterson is expected to be fine by the time that pitchers and catchers report in February.
Masterson finished the season 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA and 158 strikeouts. He also had the highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of any player on the Indians – 4.1. For those of you unfamiliar with WAR, it is a rating that is given to a player to determine how many wins they added to the team above and beyond what some other player could provide (a Triple-A player for example). It gives people a good idea of just how valuable a player is to a team; with a low WAR, the idea is that the player could easily be replaced by any other average player. Typically it’s believed that a player with a WAR in the 8+ range is MVP caliber, while 5+ level is an All-Star caliber player. Masterson also suffered from poor run support this season. With more help from the Tribe’s offense, he may have had more than just 12 wins.
In former Indians pitcher news, former prospect Drew Pomeranz was arrested early Friday morning in Oxford, Mississippi, for disturbing the peace as he left a bar with friends. Pomeranz is an alumnus of Ole Miss, and was likely in town for the Ole Miss-Alabama game on Saturday. He was arrested at 1:25 a.m. and was released on bond at 4:40 a.m. There wasn’t anything more specific released on the incident, so it’s possible it was just a few people who got a bit drunk and lost control leaving a bar. One positive of the Pomeranz trade, at least, is that this incident is no longer the Indians problem! Pomeranz made four starts with the Rockies after the trade (he never pitched above Double-A with the Indians), and went 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 13 strikeouts.