Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson continued Wednesday’s rehab assignment at McCoy Stadium as he recovers from a sore shoulder. Masterson, who had thrown 80 pitches for Double A Portland on June 5, looked to continue that performance in his second Pawtucket appearance and third overall rehab start.
Masterson was undoubtedly at his best, dominating the Charlotte Knights in six innings. Masterson allowed only two hits and one run, while walking one and hitting a batter, and striking out six. He threw only 75 pitches, and was able attack the strike zone while keeping it down for most of the game.
Masterson stated that he was happy with his outing after the game. I went out and was able throw a lot. My sinker was moving. I was able control my slider and four-seam fastball well. Every time I go out, I get better. I am also better at controlling the ball and throwing strikes.
He was able to strikeout four out of five batters at one point. The only right-handed batter he allowed reach was on a pitch-by-pitch. One of the best offenses in the I.L. was Charlotte. He made several awkward cuts at Masterson’s pitches.
He said, “Everything was down” and added that he had “some bad swings and some unpleasant swings but that’s what we want.”
Masterson did not say whether he would make another rehab start. However, it is likely that he will make as many rehab starts as possible before his rehab ends. Although he did not show any signs of injury, he is likely to be able to play in Boston’s bullpen. Masterson is focusing on his confidence while enjoying the success of some other Boston pitchers.
“Guys pitch well up there but for me, it’s about building that confidence. Last time, I had built up innings and then things went haywire. This is why I started this project and I feel good about it.”