Brian Roberts headed to Baltimore for tests

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Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has been plagued by a back injury for the last few weeks and his lack of progress has been frustrating for all parties involved.  So the O’s made a move Sunday, sending the 32-year-old back to Baltimore for an epidural and further examination of his ailing back.  Roberts is likely to begin the year on the 15-day disabled list and we can’t say for sure when he’ll be healthy enough for full-time action.  The nine-year vet hit .283/.356/.451 with 16 homers and 30 stolen bases in 632 at-bats last season.

Joe Musgrove shut down with ab discomfort

Joe Musgrove
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Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.

Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.

While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.