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Pirates

Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove hopes to be ready by start of season

Kevin Gorman
| Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 9:45 a.m.
Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove throws a bullpen session during spring training in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove throws a bullpen session during spring training in Bradenton, Fla.
Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove throws during a workout Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove throws during a workout Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

BRADENTON, Fla. – Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove, who has been sidelined in spring training by right shoulder discomfort, said he believes he will be ready to join the starting rotation when the season opens.

Musgrove, acquired in January from the Houston Astros in the Gerrit Cole trade, said he has had “no problems, no setbacks at all” with the shoulder.

“I don't think there's anything that's 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.”

Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomcyzk took a more conservative approach toward the timeline for Musgrove's return.

“As an organization, we're going to do whatever we can to honor what Joe wants and what's best for the organization, not only short-term but long-term,” Tomczyk said. “He came off a heavy workload with the World Series and we hope he can come off another heavy workload with us into October.”

Musgrove pitched live batting practice on Monday and said the team's plan is for him to throw three innings in a simulated setting at the minor-league camp on Friday at Pirate City.

“I got to see some hitters for the first time,” Musgrove said. “It felt really good. The body feels like it's responding well, how we want it to.”

In other injury-related news, Tomcyzk said veteran pitcher Bo Schultz is throwing a one-inning simulated game on Wednesday, three weeks shy of his one-year anniversary from Tommy John surgery; reliever A.J. Schugel sought a second opinion for his right shoulder discomfort and remains in a “holding pattern” of not throwing; and outfielder Daniel Nava, who had back surgery, has been cleared to fly and is expected to return to training camp this week.

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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