Musgrove done; Bucs hit road

PITTSBURGH — Joe Musgrove started the 2018 season on the sidelines, and he’s ending it there, too.

Musgrove’s name was added to the list of Pirates who are shut down for the last week. He was diagnosed with a stress reaction on the front of his pelvic bone and an abdominal wall muscle strain.

Musgrove and the team are hoping six weeks of rest will alleviate the condition and allow him to proceed offseason workouts without needing surgery.

“We’ll find out in November if I need surgery,” Musgrove said. “I hate leaving, but long-term this is the best move.”

Musgrove said he’s felt something was wrong for more than two months.

“It’s gotten progressively worse,” he said.

Meanwhile, right-handed reliever Edgar Santana is scheduled to see a doctor today and have an MRI. Santana had to cut short his last appearance because of discomfort in his forearm and elbow.

Starter Chad Kuhl will soon start the long recovery process from the Tommy John ligament replacement surgery he had last week.

Kuhl is projected to miss all of next season with a 14-month minimum recovery period. He has been talking with teammates who have been through the process and had a full recovery.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges,” Kuhl said.

Saying goodbye?

Manager Clint Hurdle orchestrated lineup changes so second baseman Josh Harrison and shortstop Jordy Mercer were able to get standing ovations from Sunday’s crowd at the home finale.

The Pirates are expected to buy out the last two years of Harrison’s contract and turn the second base job over to Adam Frazier.

Mercer is about to become a free agent, and the Pirates have shown no interest in re-signing him.

In-house possibilities for shortstop are prospects Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer, but it also seems likely the Pirates will look outside the organization for an experienced shortstop to handle at least part of the job.

“We’ll explore the market and see if there’s a veteran out there who makes sense,” general manager Neal Huntington said.

One more trip

The Pirates will close the season with four night games in Chicago, followed by a weekend series in Cincinnati.

Because their postponed game against Miami won’t be played, the Pirates need to win three of the remaining seven games to reach 81 victories and clinch a winning season.

Resting comfortably

Pitching coach Ray Searage won’t make the final trip.

He has returned to his home in Florida following neck surgery. Assistant pitching coach Justin Meccage is handling the daily duties, along with bullpen coach Euclides Rojas.

Final totals

The Pirates had a 44-36 record at home.

Sunday’s crowd of 20,623 gave them season attendance of 1,463,316.

Mehno can be reached at: johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

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