Padres’ Joe Musgrove takes pride in lack of stolen base attempts

Padres Joe Musgrove

Credit: Kevin Sullivan

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Padres Joe Musgrove
Credit: Padres Zoom

Following his second spring start in a Padres uniform, Joe Musgrove broke down how he’s been able to limit stolen bases in his career.

Wednesday marked Joe Musgrove‘s second spring training start.

The Padres acquired the former Pittsburgh Pirate over the offseason to bolster the backend of the rotation. He finished the shortened 2020 campaign with a 3.86 ERA in eight starts while finishing in the 90th percentile or better in strikeouts and exit velocity.

In his first start, Musgrove completed a brisk two innings while fanning one batter and not allowing any hits or runs. On Wednesday, the Padres topped the Indians by a 5-4 final score. In all, the 28-year-old completed three innings, surrendering four hits and two runs while also fanning a batter.

“I actually felt a little better today with my delivery, with my timing than in my last start,” Musgrove admitted. “The results weren’t the same, but I attribute that to poor execution. I had a lot of opportunities at two strikes to put some guys away, and I just didn’t execute.”

In all, Musgrove faced 14 batters and saw more traffic on the basepaths than his first outing. However, the El Cajon, CA native didn’t yield any stolen bases, which has generally been the theme in his five big league seasons. He allowed a combined seven stolen bases over that span, finishing above the league-average in caught stealing percentage.

Standard Fielding
Year Age Tm GS CG Inn A E DP Fld% lgRFG SB CS CS% lgCS% PO
2016 23 HOU 10 0 62.0 8 0 2 1.000 1.39 0 0 0
2017 24 HOU 15 0 109.1 21 1 2 .973 1.32 2 2 50% 27% 1
2018 25 PIT 19 0 115.1 22 1 2 .974 1.55 2 1 33% 28% 1
2019 26 PIT 31 0 170.1 24 4 0 .931 1.58 2 3 60% 26% 4
2020 27 PIT 8 0 39.2 8 0 0 1.000 1.38 1 2 67% 24% 1

2019 was a standout season for Musgrove, one that saw him and his battery mates throw out 60 percent of runners while picking off four baserunners from the mound.

What’s made him so effective in limiting stolen bases? Musgrove broke it all down following Wednesday’s outing.

“The first one is just kind of getting the feel with having runners on base,” the 28-year-old explained. “Controlling the running game is a big piece of my game. I take a lot of pride that I haven’t had a lot of stolen base attempts and haven’t had hardly any stolen bases against me in the last handful of years,” Musgrove said. “Holding runners on, burying my times, being able to be comfortable just holding the baseball and not being in such a hurry to pitch and getting the guy at the plate out.”

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