Justin Masterson will be the Cleveland Indians' Opening Day starter, manager Terry Francona said after Masterson threw four no-hit innings in the Indians' 7-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
"I think it's a big honor for him," Francona said. "I think it's an honor for us to tell him, and I think he's very deserving."
Masterson struck out one, walked one and hit two batters in his most impressive outing yet in a strong spring. He has not allowed a run and has given up just four hits in eight innings.
"I thought our Opening Day starter looked pretty good," Francona said. "He's ramping it up. He's getting his foundation. He's getting deeper and deeper, and he'll continue to do so. He's got good movement on his two-seamer. He'll ramp up his fastball when he wants to and he's working on getting that breaking ball in season form. That's what a good pro does."
Masterson faced the minimum 12 batters, thanks to three Cleveland double plays, two on throws from right fielder Jeff Francoeur.
"There were a lot of close pitches that I was happy with," he said. "I was around the zone. I got behind in the count once in a while but I had some great plays behind me."
Masterson also said Tuesday that there was nothing new to report on talks over a contract extension. However, he hinted that he expects progress in talks soon.
Masterson noted that owner Ted Dolan has been out of town.
As for the talks, Masterson said, "They're working through it."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.