First Pitch: The Potential Impact of the Kingham and Glasnow Injuries

Nights like tonight are ones you look forward to in the farm system. Two of the top pitching prospects taking the mound in the upper levels. A chance to get a good look at the future on the same day. But today turned out to have some horrible results for the Pirates’ farm system.

It started earlier today when Nick Kingham left his game in the sixth inning with elbow discomfort. That’s never something you want to see for any pitcher. The hope is that Kingham is fine, and that the discomfort is nothing serious. He had a good start going today, and for the first time this year he managed to avoid a big inning. When healthy, he looks like the top option to make the jump to the Pittsburgh rotation in the middle of the year.

Without Kingham, the Pirates still have plenty of depth. Charlie Morton is close to a return, and they’ve also got Casey Sadler, Clayton Richard, and Adrian Sampson as options this year. But you want to see Kingham get a shot this year, because it might give him a chance to claim a long-term rotation spot, which is important with A.J. Burnett retiring at the end of the year.

The next big blow came this evening, when Tyler Glasnow left his start after the third inning with an ankle injury. The injury came when Glasnow slid into second base in the previous half inning. He threw one warmup pitch, then called for a trainer and left the game. The good thing here is that it wasn’t arm-related, and Glasnow walked off the field (after scoring from second and then returning to the mound for a warm up pitch). This isn’t the same situation as Kingham, since Glasnow isn’t an option for the 2015 season. But you don’t want Glasnow missing much time, since the more development time he has right now, the sooner he will be in the majors.

What looked like a great night to follow the farm system ended up being the worst night this season with those two injuries. The hope is that neither is serious, and that both remain on track to join the Pirates at some point in the next year and a half.

**I’ve got a super early flight tomorrow, heading up to West Virginia for a five game stretch to see the Low-A squad. Of course, you can expect plenty of updates, starting with a look at left-handed strikeout pitcher John Sever, who will be pitching tomorrow night.

**I had my weekly segment with David Todd on ESPN 970 today, which can be heard here:

**Tyler Glasnow Leaves Game With Ankle Injury

**Nick Kingham Leaves Game With Elbow Discomfort

**Minor Moves: Adam Frazier Activated From DL, Lincoln and Wall Added to Indy Roster

**Andrew Lambo Placed on DL, Pirates Call Up Steve Lombardozzi

**Site Updates: Why Pirates Prospects Switched to a Subscription Site

**Is Gift Ngoepe’s Defense Enough to Get Him to the Majors?

**Morning Report: Updates on the 2011-12 Draft Classes

**New Draft Rankings From Keith Law Shake Things Up


  • Enjoy Charlie West. Tonight is Buck Night, so I’ll have to buy you a $1 beer

  • Now if that crazy club in the majors could start hitting…

  • Says a lot about the depth when Kingham goes down and there’s still guys like Sadler and Sampson who can step right up.

  • Not a good night when your two top active pitchers go down and a 3rd is still rehabbing.