First Pitch: Thoughts on Glasnow’s Control, Pimentel and Florimon Waiver Decisions

Tyler Glasnow has some amazing stuff. It’s arguably the best in the system, potentially better than Gerrit Cole’s stuff when both are at their best. The problem? He lacks control.

That’s not the case all the time, but it does creep up in every start. The control issues are limited to a bad inning in some starts. Other starts see him struggle throughout the game. Despite this, he has absolutely dominated the lower levels. And if tonight’s outing was any indication, it looks like he might do the same thing at the Double-A level.

At some point, this trend will end. Glasnow will reach a level where his stuff won’t dominate if it’s off, simply because the opposing hitters are more disciplined, and are used to higher quality pitches, and will let Glasnow beat himself. Maybe that could happen in Double-A as the season goes on. Maybe it will happen in Triple-A. I’d say it will definitely happen in the majors.

Unless, of course, Glasnow fixes his problem. He’s made some strides in each of the last two seasons, although the control problems are obviously still there. One of the reasons why I expect him to be in Altoona for the entire season is so he can work to improve on his fastball command. That’s a key thing to remember, especially later in the year when he’s dominating hitters without the high walk totals he showed tonight. I saw that last year, and the lack of walks didn’t always mean the control was fixed. It just meant his stuff was so good that he could get away with bad control.

One of the most interesting storylines this year will be focusing on how the upper level hitters adjust to his stuff. So far, he’s able to dominate them in the box score, even if he doesn’t have his best control. How much longer will that continue, and at what level will that trend stop?

**At the end of Spring Training, the Pittsburgh Pirates designated two players for assignment, sending out right-handed reliever Stolmy Pimentel and shortstop Pedro Florimon. Today they lost Pimentel on waivers to the Texas Rangers, while outrighting Florimon to Indianapolis after he cleared waivers.

The loss of Pimentel reflects where this team currently stands as a contender. He’s got a lot of upside, but no options remaining. A few years ago, they would have kept him around, and possibly put him in the rotation. Now? They have no room for him, mostly because there are so many other options to choose from.

Pimentel could go to Texas and finally get it all figured out. That might hurt to see. But the reality is that he would have had a difficult time getting a big role with the Pirates. That’s not saying they couldn’t have given him more time last year. It was strange how infrequently they used him in the one year where it made all the sense in the world to see what he could do. But they’re justified in not saving a spot for him this year, especially since there are already projects like him on the active roster. I’m still high on Pimentel’s upside, and I think he’s in a better situation elsewhere. The Pirates are just in a situation where they couldn’t afford to keep him, which is the total opposite of where they were a few years ago.

On the flip side, Pedro Florimon cleared waivers, which is great news for depth purposes. You would have liked for that to happen with Pimentel as well, so that he could have had a shot to figure it out with a bigger role in Triple-A. Florimon will now likely be the regular starting shortstop for Indianapolis, and a top depth option for the position in the majors. He’s an excellent defender, with smooth fielding skills, plenty of range, and a strong arm. He doesn’t hit well, but the defense makes him a guy who should eventually get a shot in the majors with the Pirates. This was a similar situation as Pimentel, but the Pirates got a fortunate bonus when he cleared waivers.

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**Prospect Watch: Glasnow Dominates, Despite Poor Control; Strong Play From McGuire

**Francisco Liriano Will Miss Start Due To Birth Of Daughter, Sadler To Take His Place

**Draft Prospect Watch: New Rankings From Keith Law

**Pirates Have Players Among the Youngest in the League at Every Level

**What Do the Pirates See in Gorkys Hernandez, Beyond His Outstanding Defense?

**This Year’s Projected Super Two Cutoff Should Have No Impact on the Pirates

  • I see glasnow in our playoff rotation this year,he our 3rd best pitcher right now.

    • turks: Sort of like Michael Wacha with the Cardinals a few years ago? Let’s hope the Pirates get there, and that Glasnow continues to overwhelm the competition.

    • There would have to be alot of injuries for that to happen.

  • Glasnow might need to be moved to a late inning bullpen option if that command doesn’t get better.

    • Lee Foo Young
      April 12, 2015 9:15 am

      that has been his floor all along…however, you don’t want your relievers coming in and walking people, either.

      • Glasnow’s early career could be very similar to Randy Johnson’s. And we know how that ended up.

    • I dont see any high degree of likelihood he isnt a rotation spot in the future. Even if his control does remain as is, his K rate and “stuff” would likely still work enough to be a decent back end arm. He fixes his control, he’s TOR arm. As is, i still see him able to be the 4-5 option who walks a few too many, but Ks a good deal of guys and eats innings.

  • pilbobuggins
    April 12, 2015 2:35 am

    If by diciplined you mean the way the pirates were swinging at a really bad curve ball almost in the other batters box then yeah glasnow may have trouble.: )