MLB All-Star Snub: Why Justin Masterson Should Be Pitching in Phoenix
As Major League Baseball enters the All-Star Break, many players get to take a break from the daily grind that is professional baseball.
Masterson has rebounded from a putrid 2010 (6-13, 4.70 ERA) to have his best season as a pro in 2011 (7-6 2.64 ERA).
The 26-year-old right-hander's record does not do justice as to how dominant he has been.
Masterson failed to record a win in the months of May and June, not because of ineffective pitching, but rather due to ineffective offense. Masterson received only 22 total runs of support in those months.
Every statistic supports that Masterson has been one of the best pitchers in the American League in 2011.
His minuscule 2.64 ERA is sixth in the AL, along with his 3.1 WAR and 145 ERA-plus. Meanwhile, Masterson's .294 HR/9 rate is the best in the entire Major Leagues.
So how is it that Masterson was not one of the 14 pitchers chosen to represent the AL in Phoenix?
The simple answer is that there is no explanation.
While many of the 14 arms chosen are worthy, one sticks out to me that is not.
The Toronto Blue Jays ace Ricky Romero was named a replacement in the All-Star Game, but it is inexcusable that he was chosen over the Indians ace.
When comparing the two players, Romero cannot compete to Masterson's stellar first half.
|Record (W-L %)||7-6 (.538)||7-8 (.467)|
Should Masterson be an All-Star?
Masterson has bested Romero in five of seven major categories. Romero only has better numbers because of his increased strikeout rate. While strikeouts are flashy, a pitchers job is to get outs and prevent runs, something that Masterson does much more effectively than Romero.
Despite the fact that Romero's K/9 rate is one whole strikeout higher than Masterson's, his K/BB ratio is only 0.01 higher than Masterson.
While Romero's 2011 season has been great, it is an injustice that it is considered better than Masterson's.
Overall, 83 players across both leagues have been named All-Stars. The fact that Masterson is not considered one of the 83 best players in baseball is something that cannot be argued. He has been the ace of a first place club and one of the reasons why the Indians are one of the best teams in baseball.
If that is not All-Star worthy, I have a hard time figuring out what is.
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