Joe Musgrove concerns grow after Padres scratch him from Royals start

Java Joe landed on the IL again.
San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove
San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

An overused cliché says that injuries are part of the game. While that may be true, the San Diego Padres have been hit hard by the injury bug, and it took a big bite out of the Friars starting rotation on Saturday afternoon.

The Padres placed both Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove on the injured list. Darvish is nursing a groin strain and will miss at least the next couple of weeks. Musgrove's ailment is bit more concerning, as the right-hander is dealing with inflammation in his elbow.

The Padres recalled Randy Vasquez and Logan Gillaspie to fill the vacant spots on San Diego's active roster, but neither of those pitchers have a similar pedigree to the Friars' frontline starters. While Darvish's injury is certainly a setback, Musgrove's issue is far more concerning.

Padres place Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove on the injured list

Musgrove's placement on the IL is retroactive to May 29th, so technically he'll be able to return sooner than Darvish. But with this being Musgrove's second trip to the IL in less than a month, the Friar faithful are unlikely to see the veteran back on the mound after the 15-day minimum.

Musgrove was dealing with a triceps issue at the beginning of May. He went six innings in a start against the Cincinnati Reds on May 1st, but didn't get back in the Padres' rotation until May 21st for the Friars' second meeting in three weeks with the Reds. Musgrove logged a little more than five innings against the New York Yankees last week and has totaled 10 starts on the season.

The 2024 season has been one of Musgrove's worst ever. Through 49 innings of work, the former All-Star has just 44 punch outs, a 5.66 ERA, and 1.480 WHIP. According to Baseball Savant, Musgrove has seen a sharp decline in chase rate, while also seeing a dramatic increase in barrel rate and hard hit rate.

The Padres will go with Vasquez on Saturday afternoon versus the Kansas City Royals, and manager Mike Shildt suggested that they'll look to call up another pitcher before Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels.

This is a tough blow for a Padres team who's been attempting to string together some series wins. Heading into Saturday's contest against the Royals, San Diego is 31-29 and trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by 5.5 games in the NL West.

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