The humble hurler that is Justin Masterson has seen a return to his 2011 performance so far this season, which raises a few different questions, each equally important.
The first question being is this Justin Masterson the one who we will see for the next three to five years? Was 2012 just an outlier, a blip, or reason for concern? What do the answers to the aforementioned questions tell us about extending Justin for the long haul?
Returning to this season, Masterson, with a few exceptions, most recently in Yankee Stadium, has been the anchor this pitching staff needed. Following two consecutive 205 innings plus season Masterson is continuing to get deep in ballgames averaging six and two-thirds innings per start in 2013.
One of the other things frequently associated with ace production is strikeouts and so far this season Masterson has delivered, which is somewhat different than his stellar 2011, perhaps providing optimism that Justin has taken yet another major step forward.