18-year-old Eri Yoshida became the first woman to pitch professionally in the United States in close to a decade on Saturday, throwing three innings for the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League.
Dubbed Japan’s “Knuckle Princess” because of her patented knuckleball, Yoshida pitched a scoreless first inning before allowing four runs over her final two frames. She also had an RBI single.
Yoshida allowed five hits in all and issued one walk while topping out at 47 pitches. According to the Associated Press, she learned to throw the knuckler at a young age by watching Tim Wakefield, who she met this spring and got some tips from. How far the pitch will take her, of course, remains to be seen.
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.