After a three-week shutdown due to shoulder inflammation, Joe Musgrove has started a two-week throwing program as the first step towards a possible return from the injured list. Musgrove tells Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he is aiming to be back with the Padres by late September and hopefully through the postseason, though he acknowledged that another shutdown is possible if the team is out of the pennant race. Things are looking grim for the Padres at the moment, as they sit 6.5 games out of the last NL wild card position.
“There’s no need for me to be rushing and pushing things back if we’re out of this thing,” Musgrove said. “But I have full confidence that we’re going to be in it, so these first two weeks are going to be important in just laying down the foundation work and being able to open up from there….It’s difficult knowing that there’s a chance I might not touch a mound again this year. But every part of me mentally and physically is preparing to be able to get at least one more (start) in the regular season and then be strong for the playoffs.”
Between a broken toe suffered in Spring Training and his shoulder issue, it has been an injury-riddled year for the right-hander, as Musgrove has thrown only 97 1/3 innings. His absences have been one of the reasons why San Diego is only on the fringes of contention, yet Musgrove has still looked like an ace when he has pitched, posting a 3.05 ERA over his 97 1/3 frames. Acee writes that Musgrove will also probably undergo another MRI next week, to check up on the shoulder after the first few days of throwing.
Other items from around the NL West…
- Mike Yastrzemski is closing in on a return from the injured list, as he recently took part in a live batting practice session and ran the bases yesterday. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (X link) writes that Yastrzemski is set for more baserunning work tomorrow, and he has been working in the outfield today. Yastrzemski has been out with a hamstring strain since July 30, and seemed to be on the verge of a return two weeks ago before suffering another strain during rehab work. Now, the outfielder could return to San Francisco’s lineup as early as Monday, when the Giants begin an important series with the Reds.
- In another Giants injury update, John Brebbia threw that live BP session to Yastrzemski, and Slusser writes that the plan is for Brebbia to throw another simulated game Sunday with an eye towards soon beginning a minor league rehab assignment. Brebbia suffered a Grade 2 lat strain back in June, and he has been sidelined beyond his initial recovery timeline of 4-8 weeks. While he’ll need some time to ramp up during his rehab assignment, Brebbia’s return could be a big boost to a Giants club in need of pitching help. Brebbia has posted strong numbers as a swingman over the last two seasons, including a 3.14 ERA over 28 2/3 innings in 2023.
- Matt McLain’s instant success with the Reds creates an interesting sliding-doors moment for the Diamondbacks, who drafted McLain 25th overall in 2018 but didn’t reach an agreement to sign. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes that the two sides couldn’t manage the gap between McLain’s ask for a $3MM bonus and the Diamondbacks’ offer, which was the $2,636,400 slot price attached to the 25th pick. Beyond the money, McLain told Piecoro that “I was pretty set on [playing in college]. I wanted to go to UCLA. I think that if I would have signed in the minor leagues at that point, I would have always wondered what UCLA was like and what I had missed out on. I don’t think it was necessarily the other way around.” As it turned out, McLain had a standout career in college, and ended up picked by the Reds with the 17th overall pick in the 2021 draft, receiving a $4.625MM bonus that was well above slot price.