Padres PNO (Positive, Negative, Outlook): Joe Musgrove 2024

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Spread the love
Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres need a big season from the El Cajon native.

Joe Musgrove will return to the rotation from missing about half of last season due to different injuries. As long as he stays away from kettlebells this spring, Musgrove should start one of the two games in Seoul, South Korea, in a few weeks.

The Padres were close to making a playoff run last season. They finished two games above .500 and ended just a few games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who made an incredible run to the World Series.

If Musgrove had been healthy toward the backend of the season, who knows, maybe the Friars could have snuck in. Even though that is in the past, his presence around the team is important not only as a local guy and fan favorite but his ability to be a leader. When Musgrove is out there on the mound, you can see how badly the rest of the team wants to win for him.

The Padres enter the 2024 season with a handful of questions, and Musgrove’s ability to return to his 2021-22 form is one of them.


The biggest positive is that Musgrove should enter the season healthy. He stated early in the offseason that his injuries last season lingered on, and it was a major reason for his sub-par production. We all know the talent is there. If the right-hander can remain healthy for an entire season, then that is a major bonus to this ballclub, which is currently short of veteran starters.

Despite the injuries, Musgrove pitched some good outings. He had four scoreless starts and only allowed five runs in July, which happened to be where he ended his season. His last start of the season came against the eventual World Series champions, Texas Rangers. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, and struck out five. Musgrove was feeling it, and just like that, his season was over.

Musgrove’s 2023 K/9 (8.97) would have been 24th in the MLB if he qualified. His 3.05 ERA would have been 6th in the MLB if he qualified. Even though his season started rough and ended short, Musgrove proved he is still one of the best in the game.

A major part of Musgrove’s game we have to recognize now is his experience. Remember, he is a World Series champion as he was a part of the Astros World Series winning club. Musgrove has now been on three teams, has been an All-Star, and pitched a no-hitter. Those are major accolades.

I'd like this amount to  


On Thursday, for the Padres’ first Spring Training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Musgrove got the start. He was told going in he would have a pitch count at about 20-25 pitches. The right-hander did not get an out, and all four of the baserunners he allowed scored. He was removed from the game early, and the Dodgers proceeded to destroy the Padres 14-1. Musgrove did not look great as he had command issues but also got a bit unlucky with the bloop single and hit batter. The Padres will need a much better performance from Musgrove the next time he starts a Spring Training game.

The 2024 projections on FanGraphs Baseball aren’t kind to Musgrove. He is projected a decrease in almost every major category outside of WAR, which will be higher than his 2023 WAR at 2.1 with a full season. One projection has Musgrove allowing 23 home runs in 2024, that would be his career high in home runs allowed in the regular season. This isn’t something to cause major concern because his numbers last season were very good. The Padres can still be a good team, with his play being slightly worse than last year.


My outlook for Musgrove heading into the 2024 season is that he will be the No. 2 starter to begin play but will work his way to being the top starter on this staff once again. Yu Darvish is the only other vet in the rotation as of now, and I don’t expect any of the younger starters to claim the top spot this season.

This team has a lot to prove, and Musgrove will make sure his play on the field can help turn things around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *