After relying on 31 different pitchers last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers already are on track to utilize much of their depth in 2017. As it stands, Pedro Baez, Scott Kazmir and Josh Ravin are expected to begin the season on the disabled list.
Despite relying on a franchise-tying number of pitchers, the Dodgers won an unprecedented fourth consecutive National League West title. Overcoming an MLB record number of injuries in some regard solidified president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s philosophy of stockpiling depth throughout the organization.
In line with that vision, the Dodgers have reportedly signed Justin Masterson, per Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
sources: justin masterson signs minors deal with dodgers
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 27, 2017
Masterson last pitched in the Majors in 2015 with the Boston Red Sox. He went 4-2 with a 5.61 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 18 games (nine starts). Last season, Masterson went a combined 3-2 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 25 games (six starts) for two Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League affiliates.
All but one of his games pitched came with Triple-A Indianapolis. The right-hander owned a 4.97 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and allowed 10.3 hits per nine innings during his time with the affiliate.
Masterson peaked while with the Cleveland Indians during the 2013 season. He was named to the American League All-Star team, and went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA, 3.35 FIP and 1.20 WHIP in 32 games (29 starts).
The 32-year-old is a lifetime 64-74 with a 4.31 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 258 games (184 starts) over parts of eight seasons in the Majors. He’s spent time with Boston Red Sox, Indians and St. Louis Cardinals.
Assuming Masteron joins Triple-A Oklahoma City, he may be part of a starting rotation that also includes Trevor Oaks, Ross Stripling and potentially Julio Urias, among others. Brock Stewart will eventually factor into the equation, but he’s currently sidelined by right-shoulder tendinitis.