The Red Sox have designated pitcher Justin Masterson for assignment. And frankly, it's months late.
It's been obvious for some time now that Masterson just doesn't have it anymore. Likely due to injury, his velocity has dropped precipitously, and as a pitcher whose entire, wild game was predicated on having a fastball fast enough to make hitters guess rather than wait and react, he just hasn't been functional without it.
It was obvious from fairly early in the season that Masterson was done, perhaps for his career barring some sudden recovery over the offseason. But with their bullpen in shambles and, frankly, nothing much to lose, the Sox tried to find a place for Masterson as the swingman he had once been way back when he was first with the team. The results were bad. After allowing a home run to Jefry Marte in Sunday's game against the Tigers, Masterson was responsible for twelve earned runs in just 19 innings of work as a reliever. If that was enough to reduce Masterson's ERA, it only goes to show how bad he was as a starter.
For all that the Masterson experiment was a failure, it is at least over with now. The Red Sox took their one-year flier on a reclamation project, and now that it hasn't worked out, they can wipe their hands of it. It's a shame, really--Justin Masterson seems like one of the better guys in baseball--but he's just not an effective pitcher anymore. Hopefully he can find something left in the tank and get both his velocity and effectiveness back. But after the experience of 2015, it's hard to imagine that will be happening in Boston.