Masterson threw a live batting practice session in Reds camp Thursday, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. The right-hander did not appear in the majors in 2016, but he does hold lots of experience over his eight other seasons in the major leagues. That's a huge boon to his value given the inexperience in the Reds' current pitching staff, although he'll have to improve upon the 4.97 ERA he posted in 20 relief appearances and five starts with the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate last season if he wants to be in the conversation for a big league spot. It's unclear how close the two sides are to a deal, but the Reds have stated that any agreement with Masterson would be on a minor league deal.
Masterson will throw two showcases over the next week, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports. According to Crasnick, roughly 12 teams will be in attendance for Masterson's showcases in Arizona. Masterson has been hampered by shoulder issues of late, but he did manage to pitch in 50 minor league games across two levels in the Pirates' organization in 2016. Masterson's agent said that he is willing to work as either a starter or a reliever and that the right-hander is 100 percent healthy.
Masterson (shoulder) will begin a throwing program in Arizona next week and plans to hold a showcase for potential suitors in late February, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports. Masterson, a former All-Star, spent last season in the Pirates' organization, posting a 4.97 ERA and a 32:26 K:BB ratio over 25 games with Triple-A Indianapolis. It appears the 31-year-old is ready to give his career another chance after electing free agency in November. Masterson's velocity has clearly fallen off since his dominant 2013 season, when he led the MLB in shutout victories. Consider him a long shot to make a roster at this point.
Masterson (shoulder) has been transferred to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he is scheduled to make two starts before the Pirates make a decision on whether to recall him, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Masterson's shoulder issues appear to be behind him and he is set to face stiffer competition up at Triple-A Indianapolis. He'll make at least two starts, and if he's able to get through them without any issues, he could be on his way back to the major leagues. In his lone start at High-A Bradenton, Masterson allowed two runs over five innings while racking up eight strikeouts and three walks.
Masterson (shoulder) continues to make progress while pitching in extended spring training. "It's just a matter of trying to build him up and continuing to try to build some arm strength, as well as continuing to take steps forward to allow him to repeat his mechanics," GM Neal Huntington told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "But so far, so good." Huntington said Masterson gradually has stretched out his outings to four innings, while his velocity has increased as well. The righty struggled in 2015, compiling a 5.61 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 59.1 innings before undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September.