San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin told the media earlier today that Joe Musgrove will be making his season debut on Saturday in Arizona against the Diamondbacks.
Joe Musgrove will make his season debut Saturday at Chase Field. Yu Darvish will pitch Sunday.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) April 18, 2023
This season debut will obviously be the second one of the series for the Friars, as Fernando Tatis Jr. is scheduled to debut on Thursday after his PED suspension has concluded.
Musgrove has yet to make a start this season after he suffered a set back in Spring Training. The 30-year-old accidentally dropped a kettle bell on his left big toe at the end of February, which kept him from being available for Opening Day.
Musgrove made two rehab starts—one with the El Paso Chihuahuas and one with the Lake Elsinore Storm. His most recent outing came last Sunday where he went 5+ innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and no walks. The box score doesn’t tell the whole story, as he was scheduled to go five innings but went out to start the sixth because of how fast he got through the first five.
“I feel really good,” Musgrove told Marty Caswell yesterday. “We got the report back from yesterday. My stuff looked really good...I feel like [Sunday] was, you know, the first time I was able to go out there and just compete and not have to worry or concern myself with delivery or mechanics or pitch clock. I felt like I was in really good control of the pace of the game and I finally felt comfortable with the clock and the pickoffs and holding runners, so I feel like I made the most of the time I’ve been down and prepared myself properly.”
Musgrove is coming off his best season yet, pitching to a 2.93 ERA in 181 innings of work. He reached his first All-Star Game and pitched the game of his life in Game 3 of the NL Wild Card Series to put the Padres into the NLDS.
Now with Musgrove returning, the Padres can return back to a five-man rotation or stick with a six-man for a little while longer so that everyone can get their feet under them. When Musgrove is activated, Ryan Weathers will likely head to the bullpen after pitching tremendously as the sixth starter.