The Pittsburgh Pirates have played some of their best baseball of the season lately. However, the team will lose one of their main pitchers.
An observation was made during the Pittsburgh Pirates victory against the Milwaukee Brewers last night (9/22). Starter Nick Kingham was seen in the dugout talking to Jameson Taillon and Joe Musgrove. What’s odd about Kingham being in the team’s dugout chatting with other pitchers you ask? Well, over the last few weeks Kingham could be found in the bullpen during games. This meant only one thing, that he would be starting a game soon.
Well, that is going to be the case. The Pittsburgh Pirates will be shutting down starting pitcher Joe Musgrove for the rest of the season. This report was broke by Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic. Biertempfel tweeted the following about the injury:
"Joe Musgrove was diagnosed with a stress reaction on the front of his pelvic bone and an abdominal wall muscle strain. Per the team, the two injuries will require six weeks of rest — no surgery — before he starts normal offseason routine."
However, later in the night, Biertempfel went back on one of his statements. At first, he said that Musgrove would not require surgery. That may not be the case as Biertempfel later tweeted this about possible surgery:
"Joe Musgrove (abdominal injury) told me that surgery has NOT YET been ruled out. He said the determination on that will be made after his six-week rest period."
This is really disappointing to hear. Musgrove had a really positive season and exceeded many’s expectations. At the start of the season, many thought Musgrove would be better served in the bullpen. He showed a lot of promise coming out the bullpen for the Houston Astros down the stretch last year. Instead, the Pittsburgh Pirates gave him a chance to adjust his pitching philosophy to theirs. It worked and he had his best season as a starting pitcher.
Musgrove made 19 starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He threw to his best ERA as a starter at 4.06, however his FIP was much lower at 3.58. Furthermore, he pitched to his best groundball percentage of his career at nearly 46 percent. Also, his home runs per nine innings pitched was under one for the first time in his career.
Musgrove had a really positive season. It is unfortunate that it has to come to an end as it would have been nice to have him pitch one more game toward a potential winnings season. However, it is more important to have him healthy and ready to go for the 2019 season.