BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove did not throw his scheduled live batting practice session on Sunday due to right shoulder discomfort, but he believes it is only a minor issue.Musgrove said he felt his shoulder "acting up" while warming up in the bullpen on Sunday, then cut short
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove did not throw his scheduled live batting practice session on Sunday due to right shoulder discomfort, but he believes it is only a minor issue.
Musgrove said he felt his shoulder "acting up" while warming up in the bullpen on Sunday, then cut short his throwing for the day. The Pirates updated his status on Monday and said the training staff "will continue to evaluate and treat Joe to determine his status."
"I probably could have stuck it out and gutted through [Sunday], but it's Feb. 19," Musgrove said on Monday morning. "What's the point of doing that? This is nothing more than just a little precautionary rest."
Musgrove said he could throw when his next turn to do so presents itself this week. Before Spring Training began, Musgrove said, team trainers advised they will be cautious with him following the Astros' run to the World Series and the resulting shorter-than-usual offseason.
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"With me playing later into the year last year and that being my first experience playing that late, that was also my first time going through an offseason that short and trying to gauge when to get fired back up again and how to go about the rest process," Musgrove said. "Coming into camp, they said, 'If there's any issues that pop up, please let us know.'"
Musgrove, 25, spent a little more than two weeks on the disabled list last season due to right shoulder discomfort. He stressed that this soreness was not serious, however, noting that he still has full range of motion and that it could just be the initial impact of Spring Training's every-other-day bullpen sessions catching up to him.
"There's no need to push it this early on," Musgrove said. "I don't see it being anything that's going to keep me off the field very long."
Line 'em up
Manager Clint Hurdle, the coaching staff and the analytics team have been sketching out potential lineups in advance of Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Rays. Previously, Hurdle has pointed to the preferred model in which a team's best hitters bat second and fourth, with high on-base percentage hitters in the No. 1 and No. 3 spots.
It seems likely the Pirates will try a variety of different looks in Spring Training, especially as they shuffle their veterans in and out of the lineup and look to replace Andrew McCutchen in the middle of the order. They must also find the ideal spots for Adam Frazier (a potential leadoff man if he starts in left field), Starling Marte (who hit leadoff, second and sixth last season) and Josh Harrison (who started everywhere but the cleanup spot last year).
First baseman Josh Bell started a team-high 72 games in the No. 4 hole last season. Will he remain there or move up to McCutchen's former No. 3 spot?
"Stability in the middle of your lineup is something you look for," Hurdle said. "He'll be hitting in a productive situation in the lineup. Fourth is a possibility. He handled it very, very well for a first-year guy."
Around the horn
• General manager Neal Huntington reiterated on Monday that Steven Brault and Tyler Glasnow are "absolutely" options for the Opening Day bullpen if they don't crack the rotation. Currently, the Pirates have Jameson Taillon, Ivan Nova, Chad Kuhl, Trevor Williams and Musgrove penciled in as their five starters.
• Daniel Nava, a veteran in camp on a Minor League contract, worked alongside Bell at first base during Monday's early defensive drills. Nava is a more experienced corner outfielder and likely will be the Bucs' fourth outfielder if he makes the roster, but he also has played 53 games at first in the Majors.
• While David Freese and Colin Moran worked at third base on Field 1 during defensive drills, Jose Osuna lined up there along with non-roster invitee Pablo Reyes on Field 4. Osuna, primarily a first baseman/corner outfielder, played third base over the winter and will continue to work there this spring.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.