Morning Report: Tyler Glasnow Returns to the Mound

All Pittsburgh Pirates fans can finally exhale today because Tyler Glasnow returns to the mound for Altoona after injuring his ankle on a slide into second base 11 days ago. He ended up missing one start, and only lasted three innings in his previous game due to the injury. As far as a setback to his progress, this is about as minor as you can get, as long as the ankle proves to be healthy today.

Prior to the injury, Glasnow wasn’t having his best outing in that May 6th game. He had allowed two runs on three hits in three innings, striking out four batters. That doesn’t sound bad, unless you compare it to the rest of his season. There was one good thing that came out of the shortened game. Glasnow didn’t walk anyone, which has now happened three times this year. That is a stark contrast to the last two years, when he had a total of two outings in which he didn’t issue a walk. Strangely enough, the first time he didn’t give up a walk was the first start of 2013 and the last time was his last start in 2014. That means he had 45 starts in between in which he allowed at least one walk.

Glasnow has thrown a total of 25.2 innings this year and has six walks and 28 strikeouts. That gives him a 4.67 SO/BB ratio, which is well above his previous best of 2.59 set back during the 2012 season. He also has career-bests with an 0.82 WHIP and a 1.35 GO/AO ratio. Basically, Glasnow is improving on what was already great product and it all seems to be tied into better control. As long as the ankle is okay, we should continue to see him doing well this season as his command and his change-up continue to improve.

We usually briefly discuss the starting pitchers for each particular day in the schedule section below, but Adrian Sampson deserves a little more recognition for the way he is pitching this year. Sampson starts today for Indianapolis, making his eighth start of the season. He has allowed three earned runs or less in all seven starts and he’s gone at least six innings in each of his last five outings. Sampson walked three batters in his first game, then dropped to two walks in each of the next three games, followed by one walk on May 1st and now in his last two games, he hasn’t walked a single batter.

After his last start, Sampson’s 43 strikeouts ranked him second in the International League and he has remained in that spot going into today. His SO/9IP rate of 9.1 is well above the 5.9 mark he put up last year. His 2.55 ERA ranks his just outside the top ten in the IL, one spot and five points behind teammate Casey Sadler. All that means is that while all eyes will be focused in on Glasnow’s outing tomorrow, you might want to stop to check how Adrian Sampson is doing, because he is more likely to see Pittsburgh first between the two prospects.

Pirates Game Graph

Source: FanGraphs

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates lost 4-1 to the Cubs on Saturday evening. A.J. Burnett gets the start in game three today as the Pirates try to avoid the sweep. He has started against the Cubs once this year and allowed one earned run over six innings. Burnett struck out just one batter in the game. He has allowed two earned runs or less in every start this season. Jake Arrieta will be the opposing starter. He pitched a gem against the Pirates last month, allowing one earned run over seven innings, with no walks and seven strikeouts.

In the minors, Cody Dickson will get the start for Bradenton, trying to bounce back from an awful outing. He allowed five earned runs on Monday while recording just two outs. He’s had four strong outings and three poor performances this year. Austin Coley was originally listed for yesterday’s West Virginia game, but he was pushed back to today in favor of Colten Brewer. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (17-20) @ Cubs (21-15) 2:20 PM
Probable starter: A.J. Burnett (1.60 ERA, 13:36 BB/SO, 45.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (21-16) vs Norfolk (20-16) 1:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Adrian Sampson (2.55 ERA, 10:43 BB/SO, 42.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (22-12) vs Akron (15-21) 1:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (1.40 ERA, 6:28 BB/SO, 25.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (18-18) vs Palm Beach (19-17) 1:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cody Dickson (4.35 ERA, 11:19 BB/SO, 31.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (20-15) @ Hagerstown (16-19) 3:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (2.25 ERA, 3:33 BB/SO 32.0 IP)


From Friday, Zack Dodson struck out eight batters and you can see the last pitch of all eight in this video. He threw seven shutout innings and needed just 78 pitches to get through his night.

Recent Transactions

5/17: Jeff Roy placed on disabled list. Trace Tam Sing added to WV Power roster

5/17: Bradenton adds Julio Eusebio, Cesilio Pimentel and Ryan Hafner to roster. Henry Hirsch, Felipe Gonzalez and Brett McKinney assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/16: Luis Heredia added to Bradenton roster. Matt Benedict promoted to Indianapolis.

5/16: Wilfredo Boscan added to 40-man roster and promoted to Majors. Steve Lombardozzi sent to Indianapolis.

5/16: Brandon Cumpton transferred to 60-day disabled list.

5/15: Charlie Leesman placed on Indianapolis disabled list.

5/15: Antonio Bastardo activated from Paternity List. Bobby LaFromboise optioned to Indianapolis.

5/14: Charlie Morton assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

5/14: Pirates sign catcher Paul Brands.

5/13: Hayden Hurst placed on Voluntarily Retired List.

5/12: Indianapolis placed John Holdzkom on disabled list.

5/11: Felipe Gonzalez added to Bradenton roster. Ryan Hafner assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/11: Charlie Leesman added to Indianapolis roster.

5/11: Antonio Bastardo placed on Paternity List. Bobby LaFromboise recalled from Indianapolis.

5/11: Connor Joe added to WV Power roster. Trace Tam Sing transferred to WV Black Bears.

5/10: Pirates acquire Jayson Aquino from Toronto Blue Jays for cash. Aquino assigned to Bradenton.

5/9: Pirates released Justin Howard.

5/8: Charlie Morton assigned to Altoona on rehab.

5/8: Nick Kingham placed on disabled list. Adam Miller added to Indianapolis roster.

5/7: Clayton Richard assigned to Bradenton. Felipe Gonzalez assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/7: Colten Brewer added to WV Power roster. Eric Dorsch assigned to WV Black Bears

5/7: Jeff Inman added to Altoona roster. Tyler Sample sent to WV Black Bears.

5/6: Andrew Lambo placed on 15-day disabled list. Steve Lombardozzi selected from Indianapolis.

5/6: Adam Frazier activated from Altoona disabled list. Andy Vasquez assigned to Indianapolis.

5/6: Brad Lincoln added to Indianapolis roster. Charlie Leesman assigned to WV Black Bears.

5/5: Josh Wall added to Indianapolis. Brad Lincoln assigned to WV Black Bears.

5/4: Barrett Barnes assigned to Bradenton. Junior Sosa assigned to Extended Spring Training.


This Date in Pirates History

Ten former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, and two trades of note. Here is the long list of players born on this date, starting from the earliest days of the franchise(bios can be found in the two links above):

Henry Oberbeck- 1883 first baseman

Billy Reid- 1884 left fielder

Frank Mountain- 1885-86 pitcher/first baseman

Fred Woodcock- 1892 pitcher

Elmer Steele- 1910-11 pitcher

Hal Carlson- 1917-23 pitcher

Harry Riconda- 1929 shortstop

Ozzie Virgil- 1965 catcher

Pascual Perez-1980-81 pitcher

Jose Guillen- 1997-99 outfielder

On this date in 1956 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded outfielder Bobby Del Greco and pitcher Dick Littlefield to the Cardinals for center fielder Bill Virdon. The trade worked out well for the Pirates, as the two players they gave up did very little in St Louis. Virdon played ten seasons in Pittsburgh, plus later managed the team and still helps the team to this day during Spring Training.

Five years prior to that deal, the Pirates and Cardinals made another trade. The Pirates dealt shortstop Stan Rojek to the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Erv Dusak and first baseman Rocky Nelson. This trade didn’t work out well for the Pirates, though Nelson had a second stint with the Pirates and hit a big homer during the 1960 World Series.

  • mymanwillie
    May 17, 2015 9:50 am

    How about bringing up Tyler Glasnow? From AA?the last time I saw this happen was in the early 90’s with Randy Tomlin when I believe Harrisburg was the AA affiliate of the pirates. Any thoughts?

    • John Dreker
      May 17, 2015 9:58 am

      Won’t happen. He will be up next year around June. They want him to be MLB ready when he gets here, not still learning on the job. His change-up is not MLB ready and his command looks much better this year, but you want to see it over a long period of time.

  • mymanwillie
    May 17, 2015 9:48 am

    How about bringing up Tyler Glasnow? From AA?the last time I saw this happen was in the early 90’s with Randy Tomlin when I believe Harrisburg was the AA affiliate of the pirates.

  • Yo, Adrian…you’re pitching pretty darn well this year.

    (sorry…low hanging fruit)