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Padres ace Joe Musgrove questionable for Opening Day after breaking toe in gym

After an accident in the gym, San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove is questionable to return to the rotation before Opening Day.

After an accident in the gym, San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove is questionable to return to the rotation before Opening Day.
Dustin SatloffAFP

Accidents come in all shapes and sizes, but this one is a little bizarre. San Diego Padres ace right-hander Joe Musgrove suffered a fractured big toe when he dropped a kettle bell on it in the gym.

Padres manager Bob Melvin offered no specifics when reporting the news as to how long Musgrove would be expected to be out, but these kinds of injuries typically take from four to six weeks to fully heal.

Musgrove won’t be cleared to throw a baseball for at least two weeks, and even then it will be a wait-and-see situation.

“It’s kind of tough to forecast,” said Melvin. “When you have a broken toe, it’s going to be more about how it heals and, certainly, if it’s a pain tolerance thing, Joe would be one of those guys, it would be sooner than later.”

Musgrove posted a 2.93 ERA and was an All-Star in 2022, and as part of one of the most potent rotations in baseball alongside Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, he was a strong candidate to get the Opening Day start.

If he is not able to return to the rotation before Opening Day, the Padres would likely look at stretching one of their middle relievers into a starter’s workload. The potential candidates for this could be Jay Groome, Brent Honeywell, Ryan Weathers, Reiss Knehr, Julio Teheran, or Adrian Morejon.

Melvin is not leaning one way or the other yet, saying, “It’s once you get deeper into games, once you get some of these guys into games against big league lineups, that’s when you get a better indication. But at first look, all these guys have pitched pretty well.”

Musgrove is a local product, and has just signed a five-year extension, so he will be itching to get back into the fray.

Melvin is adamant that once he is cleared to throw, it won’t be a difficult road back. “He is not starting over but the longer you go the more it gets closer to starting over. Joe is a guy who keeps himself in really good shape.”

Musgrove carved out his place in the organization when be threw the first no-hitter in franchise history in only his second start as a Padre, against Texas on April 9, 2021. However long it takes him to come back, all parties involved; Musgrove, the fans, and the organization itself will throw their arms open wide.


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