Padres’ Joe Musgrove deserves to be an All-Star


Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres are certain to have several players represented in the 2021 All-Star Game and Joe Musgrove should be included. 

When the All-Star Game announces the rosters on July 1, most expect the Padres to have several representatives, including Fernando Tatis Jr., Yu Darvish as well as Mark Melancon.

Jake Cronenworth and Trent Grisham lurk as dark horses candidates as well. However, there is another hurler on the Padres staff that merits an all-star selection.

Joe Musgrove started the season with a bang, tossing the Friars’ first no-hitter in franchise history in his second start in his hometown team’s uniform on April 9. That alone should merit consideration given how difficult it is to throw a no-hitter. Yes, the league saw a flurry of no-nos early on in the season but that has since died off and no one has thrown one in a month. That accomplishment remains legendary, especially for a franchise that had been starving for one for over 50 years.

No-hitter aside, Musgrove’s numbers just scream “All-Star.” In 14 appearances this year, he has allowed more than three runs just once while also accumulating at least 10 strikeouts on four separate occasions. His 2.28 ERA and 161 ERA+ are the best among San Diego’s starting pitchers (Yu Darvish is at 2.57 and 142 respectively).

Quite frankly, at this point, Musgrove deserves the distinction of All-Star more than Darvish does. He also edges Darvish in strikeouts and FIP.

Musgrove’s ERA is seventh-best in the National League and his ERA+ ranks ninth. He now has 98 strikeouts, 10th-best in the league as well. His ERA+ is better than the likes of Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer and Walker Buehler.

Each roster in the All-Star Game has 12 slots for pitchers. Clearly, Musgrove is among the top 12 pitchers in the National League right now. Among NL starting pitchers, Musgrove is fourth in strikeouts-per-nine-innings and third in SIERA (Skill-Interactive ERA).

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Thursday night was a reminder of just how far Musgrove has come as a pitcher. In 2020 for the Pirates, he had just one start of at least seven innings. Thursday’s performance against the Reds marked the fourth start he has completed at least seven frames this season. He also did it without enormous strikeout numbers, whiffing just two Reds on the night.

Odds are, if the fans were allowed to vote for pitchers, Musgrove would be a popular pick. The El Cajon native is a fan-favorite thanks to his no-hitter as well as his influence with his local ties. Local or not, Musgrove’s numbers demand he be considered for the All-Star Game.

The Padres have not had a starting pitcher in the MLB All-Star Game since 2016. They have not had more than two all-stars in the Midsummer Classic since 2007. It looks like they have a significant chance to snap that streak in 2021. Musgrove deserves to be in Denver come July 13.

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