Dear Astros Fans: Yes I’m Over-Hyping Joe Musgrove
Say whatever you want about Joe Musgrove. It might be too early to put him in the Hall of Fame, but it’s not too early to hype him up. The city of Houston is second to none on hyping up star athletes. So go on and add Musgrove to the list.
While we can’t see into the future to see what else Musgrove has in store to show us, we can most certainly look back to his debut and get excited. 4.1 innings against the powerful Blue Jays lineup can send shivers up any pitcher’s spine, but a rookie reliever? That’s a tall task. One would expect a rookie to struggle (especially given how many rookies have struggled in 2016 for Houston) against that kind of fire power.
Sending down 13 batters and racking up 8 strikeouts is enough to open up anyone’s eyes. To do it against the Blue Jays is jaw-dropping. Which makes us wonder, what’s in store for him as a starter?
For one, Musgrove doesn’t walk hitters. He just doesn’t. Over his 6 years in professional baseball, he’s walked 41 hitters (2 less than Dallas Keuchel in almost triple the amount of innings) over 337.1 innings, which comes out to 1.1 BB/9. He has control beyond his years.
Secondly, his offspeed are filthy. Since being traded to the Astros in the J.A. Happ trade, Musgrove has seen his strikeout numbers skyrocket against opponents due to the quality of his offspeed offerings. The strikeouts will continue to roll in, giving him an early start to his road to Nolan Ryan‘s record of 5,714 Ks (I’m kidding guys, calm down).
Lastly, you can’t deny that Musgrove has that aggressive and intimidating presence on the mound. At 6’5″, he’s a tall pitcher full of contagious swagger that can throw in the mid 90s with wipeout stuff to set you down with. He’s an intimidating pitcher to anyone who steps in between those lines
With Lance McCullers on the shelf for who knows how long, Musgrove gets to shift over to the rotation for a few weeks and have his audition for a rotation spot full-time in 2017. With his first start coming Sunday against the Rangers, if he pitches anywhere near the dominant level he did against the Blue Jays, he’ll become a folk hero to the City of Houston. Am I being overly dramatic and overhyping him too much? Probably. Do I care? Not at all. After having dealt with watching awful baseball during “The Rebuild”, I feel like I deserve a little prospect hyping here and there. Join me on the hype train, and burn all Mock Trades while you still can. There’s still time.
**Photo Credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images**