BRADENTON, Fla. -- Set back at the start of Spring Training, Joe Musgrove is making progress on the mound and confident he will be ready to break camp in the Pirates' rotation.Musgrove, who has not yet pitched for the Pirates this spring, is planning to work three innings against Minor
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Set back at the start of Spring Training, Joe Musgrove is making progress on the mound and confident he will be ready to break camp in the Pirates' rotation.
Musgrove, who has not yet pitched for the Pirates this spring, is planning to work three innings against Minor League hitters at Pirate City on Friday. The controlled environment of a back-field outing will allow the Pirates to manage Musgrove's workload more directly than they could in a Grapefruit League game.
"I don't think there's anything that is going to hold me back unless something were to pop up in the next couple weeks here," Musgrove said. "I feel like I'll be ready to break with the team."
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The 25-year-old right-hander, acquired from the Astros in the Gerrit Cole deal, did not throw his scheduled live batting-practice session on Feb. 18 due to right shoulder discomfort. The Pirates have proceeded cautiously with Musgrove considering his abbreviated offseason, which began in November after he pitched out of the bullpen in the World Series.
Musgrove faced hitters for the first time on Monday in live BP.
"Right now, I just really want to get my body feeling right and get that rhythm back," Musgrove said Wednesday. "Everything's great. No problems, no setbacks at all. Everything's going really well."
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Ideally, Musgrove will be stretched out enough to throw six innings and 100 pitches in a game by the end of Spring Training. He said that goal is "definitely doable." There are still three weeks to go before Opening Day -- and the Pirates don't technically need a fifth starter until April 8 -- so Musgrove believes he's still on track for the regular season.
"As an organization, we're going to do everything we can to honor what Joe wants, what's best for the organization -- not only short term, but long term," director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said. "He came off a heavy workload with the World Series. We hope he can come off another heavy workload this year with us."
Musgrove is not overly concerned about his performance and numbers at this point of the spring, so he liked the idea of getting on the mound at Pirate City, where the Pirates can extend or shorten "innings" based on his pitch count, not the game situation.
"This early, it's more fine-tuning some things. I'm not really concerning myself with the results as much," Musgrove said. "When I get up to my five or six innings, that's when I start really trying to hone in on controlling the entire game."
'One of those days' for Glasnow
Right-hander Tyler Glasnow, competing for a spot on the Opening Day staff, allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out five over 2 2/3 innings in the Pirates' 13-4 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday at Dunedin Stadium. Glasnow gave up a run on three singles in the first inning, but his outing unraveled in the second with the following sequence: bunt single, stolen base, walk, infield single and throwing error (by shortstop Max Moroff), wild pitch, walk and home run.
Glasnow attributed the downturn to long at-bats and inconsistent execution, calling it "just one of those days." There were some positives, however, including an improved changeup and a handful of swing-and-miss curveballs.
"We're going to look for some encouraging things," manager Clint Hurdle said, "End of the day, these guys are getting the opportunity to go out and get the ball and keep people off the plate. There comes a point in time where you've got to keep people off the plate."
Outfielder Daniel Nava, out another nine to 11 weeks following back surgery, has been cleared to fly and will return to Pirates camp soon to continue his rehab, Tomczyk said.
Reliever A.J. Schugel (right shoulder discomfort) is in a holding pattern and still not throwing, Tomczyk said. Schugel, who exited his first appearance of the spring on Feb. 25, has seen Dr. Patrick Demeo, the Pirates' medical director, and received a second opinion from Dr. David Altchek. The Pirates will reassess Schugel's status next week, Tomczyk said.
Non-roster right-hander Bo Schultz (Tommy John surgery last March) was scheduled to face hitters in a simulated inning on Wednesday morning. Rule 5 right-hander Nick Burdi (Tommy John last May) is still in the flat-ground portion of his throwing program. Non-roster catcher Jin-De Jhang is still not throwing or hitting due to right elbow discomfort.
The Pirates will return to LECOM Park on Thursday to host the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Nick Kingham is scheduled to make his third start of the spring against Detroit's Jordan Zimmermann. Closer Felipe Rivero, setup man George Kontos, right-handers Edgar Santana and Kyle Crick and lefty Jack Leathersich are also lined up to pitch for Pittsburgh.
The game can be seen live on MLB.TV and MLB Network.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.