The above picture was taken in the 1st inning of today’s game between the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles. Pitcher Justin Masterson started the game but took himself out of the game in the 2nd inning. Prior to being pulled Masterson didn’t hit higher then 85 MPH on a pitch and was throwing mostly off speed pitches. Masterson was later reported having abdomen issues which could be an oblique issue. The Indians went down 3-0 shortly after Masterson left the game and will have to patch together the rest of the game using their bullpen. The expanded rosters that started yesterday will be greatly beneficial with this early in the game injury.
If Masterson has a serious oblique issue his season is probably over. Even a mild oblique injury could cause him to miss the remaining 26 games and the playoffs, if the Indians can pull that off somehow. As we discussed early the Indians have a shot with a weak finishing schedule, but this injury could be huge. The other teams the Indians are competing against for the Wild Card; Orioles, Yankees, Rays and A’s, all have to be feeling a little better about their chances.
Expect to hear more about this injury sometime tomorrow after a MRI. The Indians return of Corey Kluber could limit the blow of a lost Masterson, but Kluber does not replace the Tribe’s ace.