Tyler Glasnow has been phenomenal this year. On the season he has a 1.43 ERA in 113.1 innings, with 140 strikeouts and 55 walks. The 140 strikeouts not only leads the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system, but is the best in the organization this year, with Francisco Liriano’s 123 (in 114.1 innings) ranking second.
On May 28th, Glasnow really started picking up the pace. He struck out 12 batters in 5.2 shutout innings that night. That started a month-long stretch where he didn’t give up a run, and also started a stretch where he saw improved control. Since that start, Glasnow has an 0.94 ERA in 86.1 innings, with a 12.0 K/9 and a 3.6 BB/9.
Things have only gotten better for Glasnow this month. After throwing seven shutout innings last night, the right-hander has an 0.36 ERA in 25.1 innings, with a 34:10 K/BB ratio.
All of these numbers raise the question: When is Tyler Glasnow getting promoted to Altoona? The answer might be “next year.” At least that’s what Glasnow thinks.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll be in [Bradenton] this entire year,” Glasnow said, referencing the playoff race. “I don’t think I’ll be going to Double-A. That’s cool with me.”
All year, Glasnow has said that he doesn’t think about when he’ll move up to Altoona. He repeated yesterday that it doesn’t bother him when he’ll move up. He may believe that, or that might just be the right thing to say to the question that he’s asked constantly. That said, there is a good reason why he would be in Bradenton for the remainder of the season.
The Marauders are currently in first place in the second half standings, with a two game lead over Palm Beach. Meanwhile, Altoona has no shot at the playoffs. Glasnow will most likely spend the entire 2015 season in Altoona, getting the same full-season of work at the Double-A level that pretty much every other pitching prospect in the Pirates’ system gets. He might have a shot at Indianapolis by the end of the year, much like Adrian Sampson this year and Jameson Taillon and Casey Sadler did in 2013. He is on pace to arrive in the majors by the middle of the 2016 season. That won’t change if he goes up to Altoona for a few starts this year.
The playoffs aren’t new for Glasnow. He made a post-season start last year for West Virginia. It didn’t go well, as he gave up four runs on three walks and three hits in 2.2 innings of work. This came after a dominant season that was just as good as his current performance in Bradenton. Glasnow spoke about his limited playoff experience yesterday, noting that the games in the playoffs mattered more than the regular season games.
“I think emotions are harder to control in a playoff game,” Glasnow said. “I know last year it was a little different. You could tell just the energy was more, everyone wants to win a lot more, and there’s a lot more fans. It was one of the best feelings pitching last year, because it actually mattered. Games over the season get a little tedious. It’s definitely different emotions, and I feel like it would almost be better just to kind of simulate that, maybe in the future get me ready for it.”
The Marauders have two weeks left in their season. The way the schedule lines up, Glasnow will have two more regular season starts remaining, and will be in line to start one of the early playoff games, if the team makes the post season. You can expect him to continue putting up amazing numbers in those final two regular season starts, because right now High-A isn’t looking like a challenge for Glasnow. But don’t expect him to move up to Altoona, since the playoff atmosphere in Bradenton this season will be more valuable than two early starts at the Double-A level.