Reds manager Bryan Price says the team would like to get at least 60 innings pitched from flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman during the season, reports C. Trent Rosecrans. Chapman reached 71 2/3 in 2012 and 63 2/3 in 2013, so it’s not an unreasonable expectation.
Ex-manager Dusty Baker was not a fan of using Chapman for multi-inning appearances, despite recurring talk of moving the lefty into the rotation. Chapman lasted longer than an inning in only two of his 68 relief stints last season. Baker was also loath to use Chapman in non-save situations, like in a tie game on the road late in the ballgame. Perhaps Price, hired back in October to replace Baker, has plans of using Chapman more dynamically.
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.