WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros pitcher Joe Musgrove was told by manager A.J. Hinch several days ago he had made the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career. Hinch instructed Musgrove to keep it quiet in the clubhouse, and the young right-hander passed the test.
Hinch announced early Sunday that Musgrove, 24, had made the rotation and will start the fourth game of the regular season April 6 against Seattle. Musgrove made his final start in Grapefruit League play in Sunday's 5-1 win over the Nationals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and allowed four hits and one run in five innings, throwing 79 pitches.
"I'm really excited," said Musgrove, who went 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA in 11 starts in the final two months of last season. "A lot of hard work went into it and a lot of preparation, and I'm just really excited to be able to call my family and share that with them. This means just as much to them as it does to me, so I'm really excited."
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Musgrove shared the moment immediately with his father, Mark, but waited until Sunday to tell his mom, Diane.
"I called my pops and told him," Musgrove said. "I was really excited to tell him, but I said you've gotta hold off from telling mom yet. I don't want her to get overly excited and throw something online that shouldn't be up there yet. She loves to stay involved with the Twitter and news updates. I finally got to call her and tell her the news. Really excited."
The Astros' rotation is pretty much mapped out to start the season. Dallas Keuchel will start Opening Day on April 3 against Seattle, and Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton will start either the second or third game of the season. Mike Fiers will start April 7 against the Royals.
Musgrove will next start Friday's exhibition game against the Cubs at Minute Maid Park.
"It's definitely a little weight off the shoulders to know I'm in there already," Musgrove said. "It kind of gives me the freedom to go out there and work a little more comfortably and prepare myself a little better. I've tried to keep the same mindset all spring of just go out there and prepare yourself for Opening Day, regardless of whether it's in Houston or [Triple-A] Fresno.