Tyler Glasnow is having another amazing season. After six shutout innings last night, his ERA dropped to 1.64 in 82.1 innings. The six shutout innings extended his streak of not allowing an earned run, with the streak now reaching 18 innings, spanning back to July 5th. That would be impressive, except earlier this season he had another streak where he went 26.2 innings without allowing a run at all — a streak that lasted over a month.
He struck out 11 batters last night, making that the third time in his last ten starts that he’s recorded double-digit strikeouts. On the season he has a 10.6 K/9, which is down from his 13.3 rate last year, but still very impressive. He had a 36.3% strikeout rate last year, and is at 29.3% this year.
The one downside to Glasnow’s game has been the control. He has a 4.5 BB/9 ratio on the season, which isn’t a huge improvement over his 2013 numbers. His BB% has dropped from 13.5% to 12.4%, although you’d like to see it much lower. However, a look at Glasnow’s trends shows some big improvements in this area.
Last year I noticed that Glasnow’s control got better as the season went along. After his first ten games, he was walking more than six batters per nine innings. By mid-August, he was walking just over three batters per nine innings in his last ten games. After last night’s outing, Glasnow had walked two or fewer batters in his last four starts, and two or fewer in nine of his last 11 starts. I wanted to do the same study, looking at how his walks have dropped as the season has progressed. He doesn’t have as many starts this year as he did when I ran a similar article last year, so I looked at five game averages to get more data points.
Once again, Glasnow got off to a bad start to the season. A lot of this was due to a horrible start on April 30th, which was his second start of the year. He walked seven batters in two innings that game, which spiked the totals in the first two data points. The early control problems could have been due to rust as he was returning from a back injury during Spring Training.
The control was still a problem through the month of May. He walked four batters in five innings on May 10th, followed by three batters in six innings in his next outing. After that, he started seeing improvements. Since those two games, he has had that stretch where he walked two or fewer batters in 9 of 11 starts. That doesn’t include a cancelled game where he walked one in four innings, before the game way postponed and eventually wiped off the books due to rain.
There have been some bad outings in the process. The May 22nd start only saw two walks, but he only pitched four innings. The next start saw four walks in five innings. He really started picking up the pace in early June, and you can see that in the chart above, as his average BB/9 rate starts to see a huge decline starting in July. He has a 3.02 BB/9 since June 12th, spanning 45 innings.
Glasnow still had one bad outing in this stretch. He’s also had some bad innings, but has done a better job of recovering quickly, and not letting one bad inning snowball into multiple bad innings. There are still some control issues there, but the results lately have been fantastic, especially when combined with the fact that he doesn’t give up hits, and strikes out over a batter an inning.
You’ve got to think that Glasnow is close to a promotion with these numbers. He’s eventually going to need to show this control from day one, rather than starting off strong and getting better as the season goes along. I’d wouldn’t be surprised if he sticks around in Bradenton for another start or two, but I would be surprised if he remains in Bradenton the rest of the year. At this point he’s probably going to be in Altoona for most of the 2015 season, and won’t be in the majors until mid-season 2016, which would be his age 22 season. Moving him up right away isn’t going to speed up his timeline, but it would be nice to give him a taste of Double-A by the end of the year.Pirates Prospects is FREE today in honor of the Wild Card game. You get special access to all of our content, which is typically reserved only for subscribers. We cover the Pirates 365 days a year, with live coverage all throughout the playoffs, and off-season coverage of the minor league players in the Arizona Fall League and Winter Leagues. During the season we average well over 6 articles per day on the Pirates. This is the best stop if you're a hardcore Pirates fan, and the subscription prices are very low.
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