Back to the bottom

September 21, 2012

After a brief rise out of the cellar the Indians are right back at the bottom of the in the American League. Due to the Twins/Tigers rainout the Tribe is now a half game behind the Twins and appears to be in serious danger of finishing in last place for the first time since going 57-105 in 1991.

Justin Masterson continued with his abysmal road performances this season, allowing four runs in just six innings of work. Masterson also picked up his 15th loss of the season, keeping right on the tail of Ubaldo Jimenez for the team lead. It’s the first time since 1991 that the Indians have two 15-game losers in the same season (Greg Swindell and Charles Nagy). In fact, the Indians two 15-game losers this year matches their total from 1993 through 2011 (Jake Westbrook in 2005 and Roberto Hernandez in 2011).

Masterson’s second half of the season has been concerning, and every time he takes the mound I get more worried about his future. He’s simply been unable to locate his sinker over the past few months. And if you can’t keep the sinker down, you can’t pitch in the major leagues.

Since the All-Star Break, Masterson has managed to keep only 40% of his sinkers down in the zone. Opponents are batting just .234 against these pitches. But on the other 60% of his pitches – the sinkers that don’t sink – opponents are batting .339.

If the Indians aren’t able to help Masterson find his sinker this offseason, there’s little chance of this team turning things around in2013.