Some people have suggested that Mariano Rivera should be chosen to start the All-Star game for the American League as a way to honor the future Hall of Famer in his final season, but there’s one major problem: Rivera doesn’t want to do it.
“I’ve been told about it, but I don’t like it,” Rivera said, via Joey Nowak of MLB.com. “And the reason why I say that is it’s not what I do. What I do is close the games; I don’t start the games. It’s a privilege and honor, but I’m not contemplating it.”
Obviously starting would guarantee him an appearance, whereas there’s only a 50-50 chance of the AL holding a lead going into the ninth inning, but wouldn’t it be a whole lot more exciting if Rivera closed out the All-Star game?
Of course, we could also just agree not to let Rivera retire. I mean, the guy has a league-leading 26 saves and a 1.61 ERA. Strictly in the interest of figuring out exactly what humans are capable of I say he should be forced to keep pitching until his ERA rises above, say, 3.00 for a season.
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.