Ron Washington: perseverance personified

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Remember all that trouble Ron Washington had last March regarding the Colombian marching powder? It’s a distant memory now with the Rangers winning. But it’s not just the winning that put a lid on the controversy. It’s Ron Washington himself whose attitude has changed everything say his players and his general manager:

“Guys talk about Michael Young and how you can’t tell whether he went
0-for-4 or 4-for-4 the day before,” general manager Jon Daniels said.
“There is an element in that in Ron. We could give him the [Class A]
Bakersfield team, and he’d still be motivated to find a way to beat the
Angels.

“Whether guys are banged up or struggling at key positions, he’s always
positive, he always has high energy and he always keeps players focused
on the task at hand.”

Read it all, of course, as it’s a nice profile about a guy who was all but given up for dead as a manager a couple of seasons ago and then ran into a P.R. nightmare last spring. I’ve never put too much stock in the old “whatever doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger” thing, but in Ron Washington’s case it’s proving to be true.

Between his success this year and the fact that Mark McGwire hasn’t caused a hint of a ruckus in St. Louis, maybe we’ll all remember not to make too big a stink about whatever controversy we use to warm us up next winter.

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.