Rockies summon Musgrave; Rusin put on DL

Callup expected to have similar role as veteran lefty reliever

April 23rd, 2018

DENVER -- Left-hander had a memorable Major League deubt during the Rockies' otherwise forgettable 13-5 loss to the Padres on Monday night at Coors Field.
Musgrave, who was 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA at Triple-A Albuquerque, was added to the bullpen Monday to replace lefty Chris Rusin, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain. Musgrave turned in a decent Rusin imitation, striking out one in a clean sixth inning while protecting a 5-4 lead.
"It was cool to get a first-pitch strike, go through and have a clean inning. It was nerve-racking, but it was nice," said Musgrave, a West Virginia University product whose father made the trip for the debut.
Musgrave saw a familiar foe his first batter, inducing a groundout from .
"I faced Asuaje a good bit in Triple-A, so it was nice to see a familiar face the first batter," he said.
Then he fanned and threw out after a comebacker.
To add Musgrave to the Major League roster, the Rockies transferred righty to the 60-day DL. He had been on the 10-day DL because of an oblique strain he suffered in Spring Training, and now has a right elbow strain.
At least Musgrave will have Rusin as a mentor. Rusin (0-0, 4.97 ERA in eight appearances) was, like Musgrave, a starter who transitioned to bullpen duty. Musgrave has started all but two of his 80 Minor League appearances, but manager Bud Black began using him in relief situations during Spring Training.

The Rockies put Musgrave's locker right beside Rusin's.
"The last two years have been more a transition to long relief/spot-start, and I've been looking forward to the opportunity," said Musgrave, 26, an eighth-round pick in the 2014 Draft out of West Virginia University. "I've talked to [Rusin] a few times today to see how he's feeling to pick his brain a little and see how he felt about the transition."
On Sunday, Rusin pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, with four of the five outs via strikeout, in the Rockies' 9-7 loss to the Cubs. But he felt the injury on his next-to-last pitch. Rusin, who led the NL last year with 85 relief innings, was turning the corner after an inconsistent early going.
"I struggled with my delivery at the beginning of the season, and it's slowly ironing out, getting into a better rhythm," Rusin said. "It's frustrating that it had to happen yesterday. I was starting to feel a lot better, felt I was back to my form [from] last year."
Estevez, 25, had a 4.91 ERA in four games at Albuquerque, but has not pitched since April 15.
Back to baseball
Third baseman served a five-game suspension for his part in the brawl that occurred between the Rockies and Padres on April 11, and outfielder served the second game of his four-game suspension Monday. So by the end of this series, Colorado will have played nine of its past 11 games with 24 players (suspended players cannot be replaced).
All that could be a deterrent should bad blood continue, though it didn't when the teams opened a three-game series Monday night.
"It's still affecting us," Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon said. "We've got guys suspended. That hurts your team. But at the same time, you've got to stand up for yourself. I think both sides have gotten over it."
At the end of the confrontation, Arenado found himself face to face with Padres bench coach Mark McGwire -- a man he has looked up to -- in an unpleasant conversation. Arenado spoke about it Monday.
"Skip Schumaker is the [Padres'] first-base coach, and I'm really good friends with Skip. I've known him since I was in the eighth grade," Arenado said. "They used to hit at the same cages I used to hit at, and we'd talk hitting. I know them pretty good. It was interesting to see Mark kind of get in my face."

Blazing the trail
Monday marked the play-by-play regular-season debut of AT&T SportsNet broadcaster Jenny Cavnar. She was the first woman to do play-by-play for a Rockies game since Gayle Gardner was the first when she called a Rockies-Reds game in 1993.
Cavnar made history in 2015 when she joined the KOA Rockies Radio Network as a color commentator for select games. Cavnar also did play-by-play on a Spring Training game this year.