Taking a look at San Diego Padres’ right-handed pitcher Joe Musgrove
New Padres’ pitcher Joe Musgrove is coming off his best year in 2020, posting a 3.86 ERA in a shortened season. He started eight games, compiling 55 strikeouts in 39.2 innings.
The right-hander spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded to the San Diego Padres in the offseason.
Musgrove’s most memorable moment last season came on September 26, in which he threw seven scoreless innings against the Cleveland Indians, allowing three hits and striking out 10 along the way. The Padres obviously saw enough to trade for him, and they hope that he can bring that late-season success into 2021.
Musgrove is a hometown kid attending Grossmont High School in El Cajon. Playing in San Diego and a ballpark he is familiar with (Petco Park) might help him take his game to the next level. He is also 28 and is right in the middle of his prime. Even though he has only pitched 13.1 innings at Petco Park, his ERA is 2.03.
In all National West ballparks, Musgrove owns an ERA of 2.01 throughout his career. The pitcher has shown that he competes well against the National League West, especially in their ballparks. He is joining a competitive rotation headlined by Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, so you can expect him to elevate his pitching in 2021. Musgrove also has postseason experience winning the 2017 World Series with the Houston Astros, where he won game five, in which he came out of the bullpen and threw a scoreless tenth inning.
Despite last season, Musgrove never recorded an ERA under 4.00. He’s only thrown over 115 innings once in his career, and that was in 2019, where he threw 170.1 frames. His postseason numbers are a little shaky as well, with a lifetime 8.10 ERA. The Padres might need Musgrove to come out of the bullpen during the playoffs, so it will be interesting to see how he handles a stressful situation. He has done it once before with the Astros in the 2017 World Series.
Musgrove is too inconsistent at times. He will go on hot streaks where he has a sub 3.00 ERA and then follows that up with a cold streak of a 6.00 ERA. This inconsistency could hurt the Padres when they play meaningful baseball in late September.
Joe Musgrove will probably be the fourth starter behind Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Dinelson Lamet. Pitching in Petco and in front of his hometown might help his numbers out. I expect him to make anywhere between 25-30 starts, win 10-15 games, and record an ERA around 3.50-3.80, which isn’t bad for a fourth starter. If the Padres make the playoffs, I would expect Musgrove to come out of the bullpen.
He is better out of the bullpen than starting when it comes to the playoffs. Musgrove could be a huge bullpen weapon for the San Diego Padres in the fall of 2021.