Before Friday’s trade deadline hit, the Indians made one more significant move to bolster their pitching for the future. Unfortunately, Victor Martinez bobblehead night on Saturday will certainly take an emotional toll on fans in Cleveland.
Mark Shapiro fired one more shot into the air during a frenzy-filled trade week…or month. Victor Martinez was sent packing to Boston for Justin Masterson, Bryan Price, and Nick Hagadone. Hagadone and Price come in as the Class A prospects, while Masterson moves over directly from Boston.
Hagadone, a twenty-three year old lefty pitcher, stands at a rather large 6-5, 230 pounds. In ten games, he sports a 0-2 record, but a 2.52 ERA and a miniscule .152 batting average against. Despite pitching only 25 innings, he has struck out 32 batters while walking only 14, to go along with only 13 hits given up on the season. In his first full season (2007) with the Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League, Hagadone tossed 23 consecutive scoreless innings after a rough start. During this stretch, batters hit .103 off of him, with just one extra base hit. This stretch lasted over a month, and contributed greatly to his 1.85 season ERA and his 12.2 K/9 IP ratio.
Bryan Price is a 6-4, 210 pound right-hander from the Salem Red Sox of the Carolina League. He currently sports a 4-8 record, 4.67 ERA, and a .260 BAA. Price has struck out 97 hitters against just 31 walks over 96 1/3 innings. He began the season in Greenville of the South Atlantic League before moving up to Salem where he has gone just 1-6 with a 6.54 ERA.
Justin Masterson is the lone major leaguer of the trio and can certainly provide immediate relief to the Cleveland bullpen. He is a twenty-four year old righty who stands at 6-6, 250. A 3-3 record and 4.50 ERA certainly don’t jump off the page, but neither do the numbers from anyone else currently residing beyond the outfield fence at Progressive Field. Masterson has given up 72 hits in exactly 72 innings with the Red Sox this season, and has whiffed 67 batters against 25 walks. He has been somewhat shaky this season, but could fill one of several voids on the Indian pitching staff.
In losing Martinez, the Indians lose a clubhouse leader, a general on the field, and a great teammate. Victor has played significant time at catcher and first base, and was the team’s lone representative at the All-Star Game this year in St. Louis. The 30-year old Martinez also served as a mentor to the team’s Latin American players, and acted as a captain throughout his time with the Indians.
The Indians continue to become younger, and more small-market, with these moves. However, will they become more competitive? The team seems to be headed for a time period with inexperienced, but high-ceiling pitching talent and young hitting talent, albeit, established hitting talent.