Two Pittsburgh Pirates players have now had surgery this offseason
Last month, Pittsburgh Pirates’ right fielder Gregory Polanco underwent shoulder surgery. This surgery, unfortunately, will cause Polanco to miss the start of the 2019 season for the Pirates.
On Friday, a second Pirate player underwent surgery. This time it was right-handed starting pitcher Joe Musgrove.
Musgrove had an abdominal procedure performed by Dr. Craig Smith in Los Angeles on Friday. This surgery addressed an abdominal strain that cost Musgrove two or three starts at the end of September.
Despite this operation, the Pirates expect Musgrove to be ready for Spring Training. Musgrove’s surgery will cause him to have to wait approximately six weeks to begin his regular offseason routine.
2018 was both Musgrove’s first season in Pittsburgh and his first full season as a starting pitcher at the MLB level. After coming to the Pirates in the Gerrit Cole trade, Musgrove posted a 4.06 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 4.7% walk rate, 20.6% strikeout rate, and a 2.1 fWAR in 19 starts.
Musgrove set new career bests in starts, FIP, walk rate, and fWAR. His 115 1/3 innings pitched were also a new career best, while his 0.94 HR/9 was a new career low.
Having a healthy Musgrove for the start of Spring Training will be vital for the 2019 Pirates. Musgrove developed into one of the team’s most reliable starting pitchers in 2018, and looks primed to form one of the NL’s best rotations in 2019 with Jameson Taillon, Chris Archer, and Trevor Williams.
In 2018 Musgrove missed the start of the regular season due to injuries in Spring Training. Hopefully, this will not be the case in 2019 despite offseason surgery.