Josh Hader is still living rent-free in his former Padres teammates' heads

A former Padres teammate made sure to take a shot at Hader when given the opportunity on Wednesday night.

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros
Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

When the Houston Astros signed Josh Hader this offseason, he was widely considered to be the best reliever on the market. While the start to this season hasn't been the best, most still firmly believe that he remains among the game's elite closers and a big part of that is how good he was when he was with the Padres.

After being traded to San Diego in 2022 and struggling mightily after the trade, Hader was one of the few true bright spots for the Padres last year as he posted a 1.28 ERA in 61 appearances.

However, a recurring topic of conversation was Hader's extremely strong preference not to pitch more than one inning or more than two days in a row. His argument has been that he was treated like a one-inning-at-a-time guy in arbitration and that he felt as though he needed to manage his workload to stay healthy for a full season.

Regardless of the merits of Hader's points, his stance definitely rubbed some people the wrong way. As it turns out, one of those people was former Padres teammate Joe Musgrove, who took a not-so-veiled shot at Hader while praising new Padres closer Robert Suarez.

Joe Musgrove's shot at Josh Hader is misguided and disingenuous

On one hand, Musgrove is absolutely correct that having a guy at the back end of your bullpen that can and will go multiple innings is a great asset. There are often situations where you would love to have arguably your best arm get 4-5 outs to save the day. Suarez being able to give his team that boost when it was needed was great.

However, it's hard not to think that Musgrove wasn't taking a shot at Hader here. Musgrove previously put his foot in his mouth when he was dismissive of Hader's and Blake Snell's value to the Padres, and said that they would still be a good team without them. It sure seems like Musgrove is trying to double down on that sentiment and somehow argue that the Padres are better off now with Suarez as their closer.

While it's nice that Musgrove is going to bat for a teammate, this is awfully disingenuous. As much as Musgrove (and others) would have preferred for Hader to be willing to go longer or more often, the fact remains that Hader was a huge reason why the Padres hung around at all last year. If Musgrove was being honest, he would still pick Hader to close games out.

Luckily for the Astros, Hader became available and they added one of the most electric relief arms out there, whether Musgrove agrees or not.

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