Joe Musgrove “Super Excited” After Pitching in First Spring Game of Season

New Pirates starter believes there is time to be ready for Opening Day.

Jeff Hathhorn
March 15, 2018 - 5:12 pm
Joe Musgrove

93.7 the Fan

After right shoulder discomfort early in Training Camp, Pirates starter Joe Musgrove finally threw his first Spring Training game with just a dozen games left.

“I was real excited to be out there,” Musgrove said.  “It felt good to get my feet wet in the Spring game against a lineup that will challenge you.”

Musgrove walked the first batter, gave up a double to Aaron Judge and then struck out four of the next five including Giancarlo Stanton and Didi Gregorius in a game the Pirates eventually lost 9-5.

“Throwing pitches in certain counts, using my changeup a little more,” Musgrove said.  “Used it for a put-away today against Stanton which is something I don’t do very often.  A lot of credit goes to Cervy (Francisco Cervelli), challenging me to do things that I’m usually not comfortable with.  Having some success builds an instant bond between you and your catcher.  He did an excellent job today.”

Cervelli was as complimentary, saying he enjoyed catching Musgrove and did from the first day of camp.

“It’s good, the ball moves good,” Cervelli said.  “It’s special because of the attitude he brings.  He brings a lot of energy.  You want to be there every time, that’s the thing.  He is a guy who is hungry and a warrior.”

Manager Clint Hurdle liked the mix of pitches and the control he had after settling down.  Musgrove went two and two-thirds giving up two earned walking three and striking out five.

“It’s been very limited time that I’ve seen him, it’s the first time,” Hurdle said.  “He has a focus that gets your attention.  He has it in everything he does.  He seems to be a competitor at anything he does at whatever he does.  Whether it’s in the weight room, whether it’s running sprints, whatever it is he pushes himself extremely hard.  He has high expectations for what he wants to do, a lot of self-confidence.”

Musgrove came over in the Gerrit Cole trade making 25 career major league starts as part of 49 appearances with a 4.52 ERA and 2 saves.  The righty said he’s determined to make the club out of Spring Training, but also wants to be smart.

“Making an opening day roster is important for me, I want to be there with my team, especially being on a new team,” Musgrove said.  “I want to be there with the guys, but my health throughout the year is more important to me.”

Whenever he starts for the Pirates, the Bucs starting catcher believes he will be a key addition.

“I don’t care if they throw hard or not, you have to pitch,” Cervelli said.  “You have some people here they throw 100, they can’t locate and they get hit.  I don’t care if they throw 90, if you can hit the spot, you can be a success.”