AFL: Tyler Glasnow Has Another Mixed Outing

On Thursday afternoon in the Arizona Fall League Tyler Glasnow took the mound for Scottsdale, making his sixth start of the season. All three Pittsburgh Pirates hitters were in the lineup, as the Scorpions took on Peoria. Scottsdale lost 5-3, dropping them to 10-16 on the year. There are six games left in the AFL season, so Glasnow should see one more start.

Tyler Glasnow began the first inning with two fly balls to right field for the first two outs. He got the third out on a grounder to third base. He threw 11 pitches in the inning, six for strikes. Peoria has PITCHf/x available and Glasnow threw ten fastballs in the inning, sitting 94-96 MPH. He also threw one 80 MPH curve for a ball.

In the second inning, Glasnow gave up a lead-off single. He got out of the inning quickly, getting a fly ball to center field, followed by a 3-6-1 double play started by Josh Bell. Glasnow needed just nine pitches in the inning and after two inning, he had thrown ten strikes and ten balls. All nine pitches he threw were fastballs sitting 93-95 MPH.

In the third inning, Glasnow started using more of his pitches. He got a swinging strikeout on a curve to start the inning, then allowed a triple. He picked up another strikeout swinging on a curve and threw his first change-up of the game during the third at-bat of the inning. Glasnow ended the inning with a fly ball to right field. His fastball was 93-96 MPH and the curve was 77-80. He threw 16 pitches, nine for strikes and eight were curves, with just the one change-up.

Glasnow gave up two runs in the fourth inning, throwing a total of 19 pitches in the frame. He allowed a lead-off walk, then gave up a double that scored the first run. The next batter reached on a fielder’s choice on a ball hit back to Glasnow. He then got a strikeout swinging on a curve before giving up a sacrifice fly that brought home the second run. The next batter popped out to second base to end the inning. He threw 12 fastballs and seven curves and just like in his last game, Glasnow saw a dip in his velocity in the fourth, hitting 91-92 with a few of the slower pitches.

His final line was two runs on three hits and a walk in four innings. He had three strikeouts, all of them coming on curves and in all of the at-bats, the batter went down swinging. Glasnow threw 55 pitches total, 30 for strikes. This outing was disappointing in the sense that the AFL seemed like it was going to be a chance for Glasnow to work on his change-up and he rarely breaks out his third pitch. In the four games I’ve seen data for, he has gone to the pitch 5-6 times total. You need a third pitch to be successful as a starter at the upper levels and need the confidence and ability to throw it in any situation. The velocity dip and control issues(when you’re throwing 69% fastballs) are minor concerns this late in the season, especially since he is well ahead of his inning total from last year. He still flashed two plus pitches early and he has had some outstanding starts in the AFL. So the only real concern at this point should be his lack of change-ups each game, because this is when he should be working on the pitch.

As for the Pirates in the lineup, Josh Bell walked to lead-off the second inning. He drew three walks on Tuesday and had two hits on Wednesday. Bell stole second base, then scored the first run for Scottsdale. Leading off the fourth inning, he struck out swinging. In the sixth, he popped out to shortstop. In his last plate appearance, he singled on a line drive to center field. His average is sitting at .227, but he is getting on base at a decent clip recently. He also reached base four times during the Fall-Stars game on Saturday. On defense, he handled all eight plays cleanly, including a pop up, a ground ball in the the seventh and the double play he started in the second inning.

Dan Gamache drove in the first run for Scottsdale, scoring Bell on a sacrifice fly in the second. In the fourth, he grounded out with a runner on first, resulting in an out at second base. Gamache flew out to center field in the seventh. He finished with a ground out to shortstop, ending his day 0-for-3 with an RBI. He is hitting .180 in 50 at-bats.

In the third inning, Elias Diaz lined out to third base. He was batting ninth in the lineup and catching his second game this week. In the fifth inning, Diaz grounded into a double play. He came up with a big hit in the seventh inning, driving in two runs on a triple that deflected off the center fielder’s glove. Diaz struck out to end the game.

  • Tx john.. glasnow seems destined for late inning relief. . I’ve only followed prospects for a couple of years so I have nothing to justify that comment. . Just a hunch I suppose. . Though he does remind me of matt harvey a bit

  • If he’s there partially to work on his change-up, and Elias Diaz is his catcher, then why isn’t Diaz calling for the change-up (presumably at the direction of the Pirates coaches), and why isn’t he throwing it? Should be a simple thing to fix – tell him when and how often to throw it. What am I missing here?

    • jg: Not sure if there was a specific reason for his time in the AFL. He has 47 Starts over the past two years with a record of 21 – 8 and a combined ERA less than 2.00. Oh, and he just turned 21 in August. He threw 110 innings last year and he is already past 140 innings this year. IMO, I shut him down right now, let him rest physically and mentally, and let him get ready for AA next year.

      • He basically is done for the year, he will throw on the side twice and then go four innings next Wednesday and call it a season. If you counted his two bullpens, warm-ups before the game and between innings, plus his pitch count, he has 180 pitches left tops and most won’t be full out.

    • I have no way to explain it because Glasnow himself said during an MLB broadcast of a Scottsdale game that he was working on his change. He has also said it in a recent interview. The people scouting the games and PITCHf/x tell a much different story

      • I think the easy, admittedly lazy, answer is that the AFL is in many respects a showcase league, and Glasnow let that get to him.

        Kid is still young and immature, understandably. Seems possible that he saw the scouts lined up and went to his trusted pitches instead of working on getting better.

        • I honestly just think he is still working on fastball command and because it’s not top notch quality yet, it too could use the work. Not sure why that prevents him from throwing 4-5 change-ups an outing, but I have data from four games and he has thrown 5-6 of them total, at least one a game