San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove suffered a fractured left big toe after accidentally dropping a kettlebell on his foot in a weight room accident Monday, the team confirmed Tuesday. He is expected to miss a “minimum of a couple weeks,” manager Bob Melvin said (per MLB.com).
Musgrove, a San Diego native, has been one of the game’s best starters since joining his hometown team two years ago, throwing 362 1/3 innings with a 3.06 ERA with the Padres. Adjusted for ballpark and the league’s offensive environment, Musgrove has been 25 percent better than the average pitcher during his two years in San Diego.
As talented as the Padres are, rotation depth is one area the club looks to be lacking, and losing Musgrove for any length of time during the regular season would be a major blow. At the moment the club’s rotation depth chart looks something like this:
- RHP Yu Darvish
- LHP Blake Snell
RHP Joe Musgrove(now out with a broken toe)
- RHP Michael Wacha
- RHP Nick Martinez (pitched better as a reliever in 2022)
- RHP Seth Lugo (reliever most of his MLB career)
Righty Reiss Knehr and youngsters Jay Groome and Adrian Morejon are the next wave of depth. Once touted prospects Brent Honeywell Jr. and Ryan Weathers are deeper depth options, though Honeywell has been unable to stay healthy throughout his career and Weathers allowed 101 runs in 123 Triple-A innings last season.
Earlier this month, San Diego signed Wacha, the last reliable starting pitcher on the free agent market. The best available now includes Dylan Bundy and Michael Pineda. Unless Musgrove’s injury is a long-term injury that sidelines him for several months, it seems likely the Padres will stick with their in-house solutions until he returns.
Snell, then with the Tampa Bay Rays, missed just one start after breaking his toe in April 2019. Ryan Dempster missed roughly four weeks after breaking his toe in July 2009.
The Padres went 89-73 last season and advanced to the National League Championship Series.