WASHINGTON -- The Pirates got a bit of good news Wednesday regarding a pair of right-handed pitchers making rehab stints in the Minor Leagues. Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) and A.J. Schugel (right shoulder discomfort) are both making progress as they work their way back to Pittsburgh.Musgrove, making his first
WASHINGTON -- The Pirates got a bit of good news Wednesday regarding a pair of right-handed pitchers making rehab stints in the Minor Leagues. Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) and A.J. Schugel (right shoulder discomfort) are both making progress as they work their way back to Pittsburgh.
Musgrove, making his first rehab start with Class A Advanced Bradenton Tuesday evening, threw 29 of 36 pitches for strikes while punching out two and allowing five hits and two earned runs in three innings. Schugel is coming off consecutive appearances out of the bullpen for Triple-A Indianapolis.
"Felt fine, velocity was firm," manager Clint Hurdle said of Musgrove's outing. "Threw the cutter, slider and changeup, so it was a good first step."
Musgrove has yet to pitch in 2018 after being acquired in a package deal that sent right-hander Gerrit Cole to the Astros. Hurdle confirmed the 25-year-old Musgrove will join the Pirates' rotation when ready.
"Obviously, we'll give him a few more starts before we need to fit him into our pitching staff," Hurdle said. "He needs to go and pitch and kind of rebuild his arm strength. He's going to start for us. Barring any kind of setback, when he's ready we're going to gear him up. And he's going to need to get to six [innings] and 100 [pitches] at some point and then he can get plugged back into the rotation."
Director of sports medicine Tom Tomczyk added the club expects Musgrove to throw a side session in the next few days to prepare for his ensuing rehab start.
Schugel has also yet to throw a pitch in a big league game this season. According to Tomczyk, Schugel will "play catch for the next couple days and then he'll be back in the competition" to rejoin the Pirates' bullpen, though it's unclear if he will earn a spot.
Tomczyk said Schugel "is in full rehab mode," and will continue to be used out of the "Indianapolis bullpen per how the manager sees fit," until he is ready.
Around the horn
• Second baseman Josh Harrison has not yet been cleared to swing a bat, but he has resumed baseball activities, Tomczyk said.
"He is on the field fielding ground balls, he's watching bullpens, conditioning, running bases, keeping the body strong and will continue to progress with gripping activities this week," Tomczyk said.
Harrison is more than three weeks removed from the left hand fracture he suffered after being hit by a pitch on April 15. He is expected to miss approximately three more weeks.
"This week is a big week for him as he continues to progress through his gripping," Tomczyk said. "Then after that, Josh will need to swing with velocity and swing from coaches pitched. So there are some steps that he still needs to take, but he continues to push our staff and he continues to push through this injury to fight like heck to get back to playing."
• Left-hander Enny Romero is working on range of motion exercises as he rehabs from the left shoulder impingement that landed him on the disabled list on April 29.
Tomczyk said Romero is dealing with posterior shoulder inflammation "that is not going to allow him to continue to perform."
"There will be strengthening, and at that point in time they will re-engage him in some long toss and get him going on bullpens and hopefully game activity in the near future," Tomczyk added.
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.