In a move that should have been made weeks ago, the Indians have placed starting pitcher Justin Masterson on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee injury that his been bothering him for three months.
Masterson has been pretty bad all season, with one of the highest walk rates in baseball, along with more hit batters than any other pitcher. Over the last two months he'd averaged little more than 4 innings a start, while allowing more than 2 base runners an inning and posting an ERA of 7.16.
He first acknowledged that the knee was bothering him almost two weeks ago, but the team unwisely thought two extra days of rest would be enough to heal an injury that he says had been bothering him for more than two months.
The Indians have also called up catcher Roberto Perez and relief pitcher Nick Hagadone from Triple-A Columbus. In order to make room for two additions, the Indians have also optioned Tyler Holt back to Columbus, and (because Perez was not on the 40-man roster) designated Mark Lowe for assignment.
Perez , 25, bats righty, and after weak offensive numbers dating back to 2010, his bat has come alive this season in Triple-A, where's he's hitting .305/.405.517, with 8 home runs in 174 at bats. He is said to be strong defensively as well, and his addition means Carlos Santana can continue to play first base full time, and not worry about having to catch once or twice a week.
Hagadone, a 28-year=old lefty, has already had a couple stints with the Indians this season, but threw a total of only 3 innings over 6 appearances, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. The Tribe won't need a starting pitcher to take Masterson's spot in the rotation until Saturday, and I'd expect Hagadone to be sent back down at that time, with Zach McAllister the most likely candidate to come up and rejoin the rotation.
Better late than never on this DL trip for Masterson. Hopefully whatever's been wrong can be fixed during the next three weeks or so, and the team is still in contention when he comes back for a two-month contract push to close out the season.