Could the Astros stud pitching prospect Joe Musgrove be getting the call to start Monday’s game or be part of a trade?
The Houston Astros are inquiring on some of the starting pitchers available at the trade deadline but will not make a move unless it’s a noticeable upgrade. There have been some rumors that the Astros could be after Edinson Volquez, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Matt Moore. Most of those players could cost you a few prospects, one of them could be Joseph Musgrove.
With all the uncertainty of what the Astros are doing at the trade deadline, you can imagine that Astros Twitter panicked when they heard that Musgrove was not starting for the Grizzlies Saturday night. With very little communication from the front office media, this will probably be a mystery until the end of the game tonight.
According to Chris Cottilo, Musgrove was not scratched because of an injury. There are two ways to look at it. He has been traded, or he will be starting Monday for the Houston Astros in the place of Doug Fister. Fister’s wife is due at any moment, so the Astros could be holding Musgrove back to replace Fister possibly when he goes on paternity leave.
It was originally thought that Tyler White was coming up when Fister went on paternity leave, but that changed when the Astros put Luis Valbuena on the DL. Fister could remain on paternity leave for no more than three days, so he is trying to time perfectly when he leaves the team.
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The Astros have thought of Musgrove as one of the trade deadline acquisitions, the team did not have to trade for, once he was ready. His future is in the Astros rotation, so it would be a perfect time to see what he could offer the Astros during the playoff run in 2016. If he does good, he could potentially enter the rotation, but most likely it will be a spot start for now.
Musgrove is the seventh best Astros prospect according to MLB Pipeline, 87th overall in all of baseball. He might be higher on some lists, but when Jim Callis came on Talking Stros, he wasn’t really impressed with Musgrove compared to other Astros prospects. But Musgrove offers front of the rotation potential with his 6’7” frame.
Musgrove’s 2016 stats between Double-A and Triple-A: 7-4/ 2.74 ERA/ 87 strikeouts in 85 1/3 innings.
While it could be possible that Musgrove could be traded, I believe the Astros are keeping Musgrove on standby while they wait for Fister to go on the paternity list. If there was a trade, I think we would hear a lot more chatter about it. I’m sure it will be addressed at some point tonight, but the Astros could be in preliminary discussions for a trade. Stay tuned to CTH.
***Stats from MLB Pipeline Astros Top-30 Prospects***