Padres: Previewing the team’s 2021 starting rotation

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres / Joe Musgrove
(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /

Padres: Don’t sleep on what Joe Musgrove brings to the table

When you’re talking about the Padres’ offseason, odds are Joe Musgrove isn’t the first name that comes to mind. You’re far likelier to talk about Snell or Darvish – or even the fact the Friars brought in guys like Keone Kela and Mark Melancon to shore up the bullpen.

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But of all of them, I think Musgrove has the most potential to surprise this year.

To this point, the right-hander had spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. While you likely didn’t pay much attention to him given the Bucs’ standing in the game, he quietly became a solid presence in that rotation.

Since 2018, the San Diego area native made 58 starts, compiling a 3.69 FIP and 1.205 WHIP across 325 1/3 innings of work. Baseball Savant loves what he did last year, specifically. In short, he limited hard contact, got a ton of swings and misses and relied on spin rate to keep hitters off-balance.

He throws half a dozen pitches, but last season, he relied more than ever on his curveball – to devastatingly good results. Opponents batted just .050 against that pitch. So expect to see him break plenty of them off in a Padres uniform.

  • Steamer Projection: 129-9, 169 IP, 3.95 FIP, 9.02 K/9, 2.57 BB/9