Designated for assignment by the Padres last week, right-hander Cory Burns has been traded to the Rangers for a player to be named later.
Burns made his big-league debut this year with a 5.50 ERA in 17 appearances out of San Diego’s bullpen, but the 24-year-old has a very impressive minor-league track record that includes a 2.36 ERA and 266 strikeouts in 213 innings.
Burns works in the high-80s with his fastball, but as Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs analyzed in September his changeup is incredibly good and he throws it as often as any pitcher in baseball. I’d like to see the Rangers give Burns an extended opportunity, if only because it’d be interesting to find out if such a changeup-driven approach could work like it did in the minors.
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.