Joe Musgrove
Joe Musgrove
26-Year-Old PitcherSP
Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Musgrove was limited by injuries but performed at a high level between DL stints, creating some excitement heading into 2019. After turning the page on a shoulder issue, Musgrove made his Pirates debut May 20 and blanked the Cardinals over seven innings. A finger infection sidelined Musgrove again in July, but he returned to post an even 1.0 BB/9 in 62.1 innings after the break, lowering his walk rate to just 4.7% for the season. His 20.6 K% was underwhelming, though an 11.4% swinging-strike rate and an excellent 68.3% first-pitch-strike rate hint at room for growth in that department. The Pirates were forced to shut Musgrove down early and sent him for surgery to repair his right abdominal wall and to heal a stress reaction in his pelvic bone, but he was expected to have a relatively normal offseason. There's no doubt that Musgrove will have a rotation spot when healthy. The command is there for him to take his performance to the next level. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year contract with the Pirates in March of 2018.
Recovery on track
PPittsburgh Pirates
February 14, 2019
Musgrove (abdomen) says he is "on or close to a regular schedule" for spring training, though he's not yet throwing full-intensity bullpen sessions.
"I feel like we're in a good spot," Musgrove said. "It's just going to be a day-by-day thing. I haven't gotten off the mound and really fired balls yet." The righty, who underwent abdominal surgery in October, is expected to serve as Pittsburgh's fourth starter. Musgrove compiled a 3.31 ERA in his first 14 starts (87.1 innings) last season. He slumped to an overall 4.06 ERA over his final five starts, though his performance was likely hampered by injury. The 26-year-old has dealt with constant health concerns, but he's pitched well for extended periods and has the backing of a solid bullpen. As a result, he makes for an interesting end-game pick.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .272 547 116 35 135 25 7 17
Since 2016vs Right .253 657 137 32 154 33 1 22
2018vs Left .277 223 38 13 56 12 2 6
2018vs Right .233 263 62 10 57 7 1 6
2017vs Left .268 213 56 12 52 8 3 7
2017vs Right .285 249 42 16 65 14 0 11
2016vs Left .270 111 22 10 27 5 2 4
2016vs Right .235 145 33 6 32 12 0 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 3.80 1.23 167.0 10 13 2 8.6 2.5 1.1
Since 2016Away 5.08 1.26 118.2 7 8 0 7.1 1.5 1.4
2018Home 4.21 1.27 66.1 4 5 0 8.1 2.2 0.9
2018Away 3.86 1.06 49.0 2 4 0 7.3 1.3 0.9
2017Home 4.52 1.36 65.2 3 7 2 8.6 3.0 1.6
2017Away 5.15 1.28 43.2 4 1 0 7.2 1.2 1.2
2016Home 1.75 0.92 36.0 3 1 0 9.3 2.3 0.5
2016Away 7.27 1.62 26.0 1 3 0 6.2 2.4 2.4
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Stat Review
How does Joe Musgrove compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.0 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
For some, it is a tale of two halves. For Musgrove, it was a tale of two roles. As a starter, Musgrove posted a 6.12 ERA with a 1.51 WHIP. After being demoted to the bullpen, he registered a sparkling 1.44 ERA with a stingy 0.86 WHIP. Sometimes, this is just happenstance, with regression occurring after the role change, not because of it. However, in this instance, Musgrove increased the use of his fastball (adding three mph), slider and cutter while barely throwing his sinker and curveball. The results were astounding, as Musgrove's swinging-strike rate gained three percentage points, while his walks and homers dropped significantly. Focusing on homers, as a starter, Musgrove surrendered 16 in just 78 innings compared to only two in 31.1 frames out of the bullpen. Just when it seemed he was poised to become one of the useful non-closer fantasy relievers in the Chris Devenski or Chad Green mold, Musgrove was dealt to the Pirates as part of the Gerrit Cole trade. He will return to starting in Pittsburgh, and more growing pains should be expected.
Musgrove excelled at the upper levels of the minor leagues in 2016, earning a look in the Astros' rotation over the final two months. Aside from one eight-run blowup at Baltimore, Musgrove was mostly impressive as he was able to maintain a good walk rate against more advance hitters while continuing to miss bats at a strong clip. His 4.23 FIP suggests he may have overachieved slightly in the ratio categories, but command and control give Musgrove a nice floor as he enters his age-24 season and continues along the major-league learning curve. The Astros' signing of Charlie Morton and a potential role change for Chris Devenski cloud Musgrove's status somewhat, but there are health concerns at the top of the rotation, and Musgrove should serve as the top fill-in if he misses out on a rotation spot out of camp. He's more than an AL-only consideration.
Musgrove, Toronto's first pick in the compensation round of the 2011 draft (46th overall), was acquired by the Astros in 2012 and has spent the past four years in the lower levels of their minor league system. His stock has finally started to rise, however, as he opened 2015 with Low-A Quad Cities and finished the year at Double-A Corpus Christi. Between three levels last season, he appeared In 19 games (14 starts) and went 12-1 with a 1.88 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 99:8 K:BB ratio over 100.2 innings. The 23-year-old right-hander sports a mid-to-low 90s fastball, plus slider and plus-plus command, but his future as a big league starter or reliever is unclear. He's likely to return to Corpus Christi or open 2016 with Triple-A Fresno.
More Fantasy News
Slowly working back
PPittsburgh Pirates
January 7, 2019
Musgrove (abdomen) threw off a slope Monday, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
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Undergoes abdominal procedure
PPittsburgh Pirates
October 19, 2018
Musgrove underwent surgery to repair his right abdominal wall in order to help heal the stress reaction on the front of his pelvic bone, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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Facing six-week recovery timeline
PPittsburgh Pirates
September 24, 2018
Musgrove (pelvis/abdomen) is expected to require about six weeks of "relative rest" before being cleared to resume offseason workouts, Adam Berry of reports.
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Shut down for season
PPittsburgh Pirates
September 22, 2018
Musgrove is done for the season after recently being diagnosed with a stress reaction on the front of his pelvic bone and a strain in his abdominal wall muscle, Adam Berry of reports.
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Tagged for five runs vs. Royals
PPittsburgh Pirates
September 17, 2018
Musgrove surrendered five runs on eight hits while striking out four across six innings Monday against Kansas City. He didn't factor into the decision.
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