From Mark Sheldon:
When the season ended, Masset still had respectable numbers with a 3.71 ERA over 75 games pitched. It was his third consecutive year making at least 74 appearances. However, there were prolonged stretches of struggle in between moments of dominance.
“It’s kind of been a roller coaster, up and down,” Masset said just before the season ended. “I’ve had some highs and some lows. I definitely missed with some of my pitches. I had a hard time with my cutter and slider, which got me into trouble at times. Being a reliever and having that many pitches, sometimes it can be difficult for you when they are not all locked in.”
Masset had a 3-6 record and 62 strikeouts with 76 hits, 31 walks and five home runs allowed in 70 1/3 innings. He was charged with six blown saves, and 11 of his 28 inherited runners scored.
“In the case of Masset, it’s more of missed location and pitch selection to me, versus a loss of stuff,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker.
Much like he experienced in 2010, Masset’s ’11 season started poorly, and he spent the rest of the season chipping away at a high ERA. Through his first five appearances, he was 0-3 with a 9.95 ERA and accounted for three of Cincinnati’s first four losses of the season.
In a 34-appearance stretch from May 3-July 19, Masset posted a 1.36 ERA. Then, in August, he had a 7.20 ERA over 12 games. The pendulum swung back upward down the stretch in September, when Masset had a 1.04 ERA over his final 11 outings.
“It’s been a battle. I stayed positive all the way through,” Masset said.
The 29-year-old is different from some late-inning relievers in that he regularly uses four different pitches rather than a basic fastball and off-speed pitch. His best two pitches are a sinker and curveball — the former usually saves the Reds from jams in the late innings. It helped net 11 double plays in 2009 and seven in ’10.
In 2011, Masset’s double-play total dropped to four.
The right-hander had no plans to drop his two struggling pitches or streamline his repertoire.
“It’s something I can work on in the offseason, coming into next year,” Masset said. “I have some things I want to get better with. I definitely won’t cut it out, because I think it will take away more than help me out.”
He’s arbitration eligible….and Jocketty says he’s in the team’s plans. What’s he worth?
There is always talk about how good his stuff is and I didn’t realize he threw 4 pitches…wonder why they never thought of him as a starter? He started up through AA ball..
I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.