Created on Saturday, 22 March 2014 Written by MIKE CRANSTON, Associated Press
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A day after contract talks with the Indians stalled, Cleveland ace Justin Masterson threw six strong innings in a 14-3 rout of the Colorado Rockies on Friday.
Masterson's spring training scoreless streak was snapped after 14 2-3 innings, with both runs against him scoring on wild pitches. While he doubled his walks total to four, Masterson struck out six and allowed five hits in his next-to-last start before opening day.
General manager Chris Antonetti said Friday that talks have been tabled after Masterson rejected the team's "very competitive" offer.
A smiling, upbeat Masterson said he hugged Antonetti when they met Friday morning, and wouldn't rule out a deal before he hits free agency next winter.
"So even though it didn't happen right now, I'm not overly disappointed," Masterson said.
Rockies opening day starter Jorge De La Rosa was knocked around for five runs and nine hits in three innings. The Indians batted around in a four-run third. Elliott Johnson had two RBI singles off De La Rosa, who walked two and threw more than 70 pitches.
"Everything was bad today," he said.
Colorado setup man Rex Brothers also struggled, giving up two hits, two walks and four runs in the sixth.
Indians: Masterson said he "didn't have the best fluidity" with his delivery, but was happy with how he worked through it.
"That's where you learn a lot," he said.
Rockies: De La Rosa said he was working on — without much success — pitching inside and holding runners. He also had numerous communication issues with catcher Wilin Rosario.
"It didn't seem like they were on the same page early on," manager Walt Weiss said.
Indians: Backup catcher Matt Treanor will be sidelined two to three weeks with a strained left hamstring sustained Wednesday. ... Outfielder Nyjer Morgan (calf) had a three-run double in his first game since March 12.
Rockies: Left-hander Franklin Morales, who injured his groin in his last start Wednesday, said he was in less pain Friday morning and was on schedule to throw a bullpen session Saturday.
Rockies reliever Boone Logan said the plan "as of now" is to be on Colorado's 25-man roster to start the season. But it's far from certain.
"I need to be 100 percent to break camp," Logan said. "I've got a few more games to work on that."
The left-hander allowed three hits and walked in a run in his debut Thursday after offseason elbow surgery. He said his arm felt fine Friday and he's scheduled to pitch again Saturday.
"That will be a true test," he said.
Manager Terry Francona was pleased with 16 hits coming after the first off day of the spring.
Michael Brantley went 3 for 4 and drove in three runs.
"I wish you could bottle it and start," Francona said. "He feels really good."
Cleveland granted right-hander David Aardsma's request to be released after he was informed he wouldn't make the opening day roster.
Rockies executive Bill Geivett acknowledged there's difficult work ahead in picking the roster, with no big decisions expected until the end of next week.
"These are very, very interesting decisions with very similar-type players," Geivett said. "And all of them are showing up well."
The starting center field job and the fifth outfielder spot remain open, with Drew Stubbs, Brandon Barnes, Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson having good camps.
Jordan Pacheco and Michael McKenry remain in contention for backup catcher. Josh Rutledge, Charlie Culberson, Ryan Wheeler and Paul Janish are competing for reserve infield roles.
And reliever Tommy Kahnle, a Rule 5 draft selection who hasn't pitched above Double-A, continued his impressive spring with a perfect fifth inning.
"To feel comfortable enough to go out there and do the things he's done on the mound, yeah, it's been impressive," Geivett said.