PITTSBURGH — Pirates right-handed pitcher Joe Musgrove threw a two-inning, 35-pitch simulated game at PNC Park on Wednesday, throwing all of his pitches at close to full velocity.

Elias Diaz and Max Moroff stood in as hitters for Musgrove, and he said he liked what he saw as far as results in his first action against live hitters since returning to the mound after a right shoulder strain suffered on the eve of the regular season.

“I liked the results I saw,” he said. “A lot of weak contact, a lot of balls on the ground. It felt really good.”

Musgrove threw without velocity restriction for the first time, so his recovery from that will determine what the next step in his rehab process will be. Musgrove will almost certainly need minor-league work before joining the rotation.

“I think the next chapter is just to see how I recover tomorrow,” he said. “It’s all going to depend on how the next two days go.”

Musgrove is more than ready to go mentally after spending most of the last month on the shelf.

“It’s tough,” he said. “This has been really tough for me, being the new guy on the team, having to sit by and not really being able to contribute and do my part. It really sucks.”

READY FOR MORE

Right-handed reliever Bo Schultz has done just about all he can do in his rehab work at High-A Bradenton. Schultz has a 0.00 ERA, nine strikeouts and no walks in 9.2 innings over seven appearances with the Marauders. He’s also been throwing in the high 90s with his fastball, sitting 95-97 last night.

Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Schultz will be transferred to either Double-A Altoona or Triple-A Indianapolis soon.

ON THE MEND

RHP A.J. Schugel (right shoulder) will continue his rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis. He threw two innings for the first time on Tuesday, allowing one hit and striking out one. He has yet to pitch on back-to-back days. … RHP Nick Burdi (Tommy John) continues to throw off a mound in Bradenton, but is not ready for game action. … 2B Josh Harrison (broken metacarpal), OF Bryan Reynolds (hamate surgery) and OF Daniel Nava (back surgery) have not resumed baseball activity.

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