Catching up with Nick Masset
My baseball journey continues to Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, home of the Reds. It’s hard to visit a Major League park and not run into a former LumberKing, and that’s certainly the case with the 2009 Reds club. The team leader in relief appearances his none other than right-hander Nick Masset, who suited up in the black and green for the entire 2003 season.
Masset on the mound at Great American Ballpark in 2009. Photo courtesy of the Reds Media Relations Department.
Masset went 7-7 in 30 games 20 starts with the ’03 Kings, breaking through to the Texas Rangers in 2006. He’s been traded twice already in his brief career, from the Rangers to the Chicago White Sox (in a deal that included 2004 LumberKing John Danks and brought in ’07-’08 outfielder David Paisano) and from the White Sox to the Reds for his boyhood idol, Ken Griffey, Jr.
By his own admission, Masset is settling in to the up-and-coming Reds and is getting more comfortable against National League opponents. So far this year, that comfort level has shown. He’s 5-1 with a stellar 2.47 ERA over a team-high 71 appearances as the prime setup man for closer Francisco Cordero.
In our interview, Masset reflects on this season with the Reds, his excitement over the young core in Cincinnati (including another former LumberKing, 2004 hurler Edinson Volquez, former Dayton Dragons Jay Bruce and Joey Votto), the influence of former pitching coach Andy Hawkins on his career, keeping up with old teammates Kameron Loe and Josh Rupe and more.
Nick Masset Interview 9.30.09.mp3
EDIT: Masset ended up pitching in tonight’s game, replacing starter Bronson Arroyo with two outs in the ninth of a 6-1 Reds lead (much to the displeasure of the home crowd who wanted to see an Arroyo complete game). He worked around a single by Albert Pujols and a walk to former Quad Cities Swing Colby Rasmus, striking out Ryan Ludwick to end the game.
Masset works to Pujols in the ninth.
I’ve got a ton of pictures from my trip to Great American Ballpark, including my visit to the Reds Hall of Fame. Look for those coming up in a future post.