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Pirates notebook: Team hopes Joe Musgrove’s shoulder injury ‘isolated’

April 9, 2018

Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said the team is treating Joe Musgrove’s shoulder strain “as an acute, isolated event,” but they are aware a similar ailment put him on the disabled list last year.

Asked if last year’s injury with the Houston Astros might be related to Musgrove’s current situation, Tomczyk said, “Sure, but not really.”

“We’re aware of (players’) past medical history, definitely. Every injury is their own separate event.”

Musgrove was on the disabled list from May 27 to June 12, 2017. When he returned, he threw a career-best 121⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings in August, recorded two saves in September and made seven postseason appearances.

Other injuries

Tomczyk said pitcher Bo Schultz, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is the closest of the team’s injured players to returning.

“If anything, Bo has pushed us to push our program forward because he’s an experienced guy (32 years old) and knows his body well.”

Among the others:

• Pitcher Nick Burdi (Tommy John) threw once off a slope and took a “very positive step moving forward.”

• Pitcher A.J. Schugel (shoulder) has thrown two bullpen sessions in Florida, and his next step is live batting practice.

Brault’s future

Steven Brault said in spring training when he knew he was headed to the bullpen that he didn’t care. He just wanted to pitch in the big leagues.

Now that Brault is back in the Pirates starting rotation — he will be Musgrove’s replacement Thursday — Hurdle doesn’t expect the sudden change in plans to be a problem for him.

“Steven’s development is he’s a ballplayer,” Hurdle said. “He just happens to pitch. Every other aspect of what he does and how he goes about it, it’s been full speed ahead.”

Hurdle declined to predict Brault’s short-term status after Thursday.

“I don’t anticipate anything,” he said. “I’m taking it one start at a time. We’ll see what Joe’s development is in his return to the pitching program.“Of Brault’s long-range future, Hurdle said, “We’ve shared with him in conversation that we think he’s a starting pitcher in development.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.