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04/08/10 12:27 AM ET
Masterson, Floyd ready for Chicago's chill
The Indians believe Justin Masterson has the stuff to stick as a starter.He's also a proven reliever. Where he ends up this season is entirely up to him. Where he starts this season is against Gavin Floyd and the White Sox on Thursday in Chicago. "It's been that way my whole career," Masterson said. "So there are probably differing opinions here. I can't really speculate, because I don't know. I would say that seeing what I've done in the Major Leagues, having some success as a starter and reliever, it's easy to speculate both ways. If they see me struggle as a starter, they say, 'He'd be a great reliever.' If I struggle as a reliever, they say, 'Oh yeah, he'll be a starter.' I think it will work either way. But right now, I'm confident about being in a starting role." Masterson needs to establish a changeup that helps him improve his performance against lefties. If it doesn't work out in the rotation, the Indians also believe he has the stuff to be an impact reliever. Overall, he is 0-1 with a 1.53 ERA in five career appearances, including two starts, against the White Sox. As for Floyd, he had an 11-11 mark and 4.06 ERA in 2009 and finished strong by lowering his ERA from 4.44 before the All-Star break to 3.49 after it. More importantly, Floyd is healthy after leaving a game on Sept. 16 with a sore left hip and not pitching the remainder of the 2009 season. Come rain or shine, Floyd will be ready Thursday. "I saw the forecast was going to be in the high 30s [Thursday]," Floyd said. "It is what it is. I wish it was 70 or 80 degrees, but everyone is playing in it. Don't complain about it. Suck it up and get through it. That's what it's all about, being a player." Floyd has a 4-2 career record with a 4.30 ERA against the Indians and has a 16-9 mark at U.S. Cellular Field. Since '08, he ranks second among American League right-handers in opponents' average against with a .242 mark, sits in a tie for sixth with 28 victories and his 38 quality starts rank him seventh. "You just try to grind it out and get through it and keep your team in the game," he said. "Make pitches and keep the ball down." Indians: The Indians' victory on Wednesday snapped a streak of 16 consecutive road losses dating back to end the 2009 season. ... The average age of the Tribe's 40-man roster (27.97) is the second youngest among the 30 Major League teams, trailing only Oakland's 27.7. White Sox: Sox manager Ozzie Guillen reiterated a point he made at the end of Spring Training to veterans such as Andruw Jones and Omar Vizquel, concerning hanging with him at the start of the season when at-bats are scarce. "The guys play every day don't need a day off, but I'll get them in the lineup as soon as I can to start a game," Guillen said ... According to Team Marketing Report, the White Sox have the fourth-highest average non-premium ticket cost in Major League Baseball at $38.65. They trail the Red Sox, Cubs and Yankees and ranked fifth last year.
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