Masterson in relief role with break looming

Masterson in relief role with break looming

Masterson in relief role with break looming
CLEVELAND -- On Saturday, Indians manager Manny Acta named Justin Masterson his No. 1 starter for the second half of the season. Yet there was Masterson in the ninth inning of Saturday's contest, pitching out of the bullpen.

The 6-foot-6 right-hander started Wednesday's win against the Yankees and won't start again until Thursday at Baltimore. So, Acta wanted to get him some work in the interim. He said Masterson would be an option out of the bullpen on Sunday as well.

"He's going to be in the 'pen because he's not pitching for a while," Acta said.

Masterson reverted back and forth between starting and relieving coming up through the Red Sox organization. When he was traded to the Indians in 2009, he worked out of the bullpen before becoming a full-time starter last season. Masterson said he likes both roles, but prefers to start.

"I like relieving, but starting is fun," said Masterson, 7-6 with a 2.64 ERA. "You can be that workhorse and set the tone for the team."

Masterson said he carries a similar mindset into whatever role he takes on.

"My mentality is closing out every inning," he said. "It's almost that bullpen mentality of each inning you're coming in in the beginning, you finish that inning, and then you worry about the next one."