The Pirates lose yet another pitcher to the injured list , this time being Joe Musgrove while also adding more depth pitching with this wavier claim.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will lose a 7th arm into the season. Joe Musgrove has been placed on the 10-day injured list with right tricep inflammation. Musgrove was scratched from his Sunday start, in place of what looked to be a piggy back stragety with Steven Brault and Chris Stratton. The Pirates however did add more depth to the roster by claiming right handed pitcher Nick Tropeano.
Musgrove was set-up to be the team’s best pitcher. Afterall, in the past two seasons, he has established himself as a solid major league pitcher. Despite his 4.28 ERA, Musgrove had really solid perpherials including a 3.72 FIP, 1.201 WHIP, 5.2% walk rate, and 1.04 HR/9. Musgrove’s walk rate is notably, the 9th lowest in baseball among pitchers with at least 250 innings under their belt across the last two years. The ERA estimator, deserved runs allowed, placed Musgrove in the best of light with a 3.43 mark in 2018, and 3.59 mark in 2019.
Despite his slow start to the 2020 season, Musgrove a lot more spin on his cruveball, along with more movement on his slider. For now, the Pirates will likely use Steven Brault in the spot Musgrove is leaving behind, with Kuhl no longer on a piggybacking scheduel. However, they might continue to use Stratton and Brault in the same way that they used them on Sunday vs the Detroit Tigers.
In a corresponding move, the Pirates have claimed right handed pitcher Nick Tropeano off waviers from the New York Yankees. Tropeano is a former top organizational prospect for the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels. Tropeano’s career has been derailed by multiple different injuries, including a 2016 tommy john surgery. From 2014 up until his surgery, Tropeano had only pitched 127.2 major league innings, but was quite solid with a 3.81 ERA, and 4.15 FIP.
But since returning from the dreadful surgery, Tropeano hasn’t been able to pick off where he left off. In the past two years with the Angels, the former prospect has pitched 89.2 innings, allowing 55 earned runs on 22 home runs, and just 74 strikeouts. The results weren’t much better at AAA last season as he had a 5.87 ERA, 4.86 FIP, and 1.519 WHIP through 79.2 innings.
This past off season, the Yankees had signed the right hander on a minor league deal, but he was recently designated for assignement on the 8th to make room for former Pirate catcher Erik Kratz, utility man Thairo Estrada, and pitching prospect Albert Abreu.
For now, Tropeano will report to the Pirates’ alternative training site at Altoona. This is also the second depth move the Pirates have made in the last few days with them signing former all-star Henderson Alvarez on Sunday. With Musgrove now on the injured list, the team will likely pull up someone from the training site, with either or both Tropeano and Alvarez replacing that roster spot.