Tyler Glasnow makes his sixth start for Indianapolis tonight. I plan to watch the game online, which I’ve done for his other five starts, missing only a few innings total. His stats look outstanding, prompting many people to call for him to be in the Pirates’ rotation in September. As I’ve said in the past, that isn’t something the Pirates do. They didn’t call up Gerrit Cole in 2012, they didn’t promote Jameson Taillon in 2013. There were calls for both of them to come up to either start or pitch out of the bullpen. That doesn’t mean that they Pirates won’t call up Glasnow, they can call up whoever they want, but we have very good reason to believe it won’t happen.
The other point is that he has really only looked dominating over the second half of his fourth start and in his last game. In his first game, he allowed a career-high nine hits. In his second game, he issued six walks. He was erratic in his third game and his fourth game went bad for three innings until a light switched on and he became the Glasnow we know. The ERA of 0.99 and high strikeout rate hide the fact that he has a 1.46 WHIP and he is giving up a lot of fly balls. He has never been a big ground ball pitcher, but an 0.47 GO/AO ratio is really bad.
The tricky part to this for most people is the fact that there are such things as September call-ups. If he had the same results in five AAA starts in June, you wouldn’t even think about calling him up. His control has been bad, he has work to do on his change-up and he’s not good at holding on runners. Glasnow is far from polished right now and Major League hitters would do a better job of exploiting his flaws. The Pirates are in a pennant race and no matter how you look at it, he would be an upgrade over someone. So people want him up and that might make sense short-term, but he is obviously a long-term piece.
As it stands now, I expect him to start today and still be in Indianapolis for his next start on September 1st. Then start on the 6th(assuming no rain outs) and then Indianapolis will be in the playoffs if they don’t collapse and that will give him another AAA start. The real fun part should be next year when he isn’t up until June and Twitter is littered with #FreeGlasnow for two months, possibly three if it starts during Spring Training.
It’s possible we see more #FreeBell tweets next year with the way Josh Bell is tearing up AAA pitching(see video below). You still want to see more power from him, but he looks like he could be close to ready with the bat. The thing with Bell is that I finally got to see the potential problems with his defense at first base on Wednesday. He didn’t make any errors, but he didn’t look good over there on some fairly easy plays. Just like with Glasnow, Bell has something to work on before he is ready for full-time, but he is someone you could see being a valuable player on the bench in September as well. I’d be shocked if he is up this year, or even before next June. Don’t forget, Jameson Taillon could also be in that same hashtag group, since he will need time in AAA next year.
Batting Race Watch
I mentioned Tuesday in the Prospect Watch that Ke’Bryan Hayes was second in the GCL in batting average when he was promoted to Morgantown. The one player ahead of him was Trey Amburgey, from the Yankees1(they have two affiliates), who was promoted a couple weeks ago. I say “was” because the Yankees1 completed a game from earlier in the season on Wednesday and he was 0-for-1 when the game was suspended. Since stats don’t count until the game is complete, they weren’t in his season stats until yesterday.
Amburgey is now tied in hitting with Hayes, but that one extra plate appearance is the only reason he is still on the leader board. Amburgey has 151 plate appearances and the Yankees have played 56 games, so he needs at least 151 plate appearances to qualify for league leaders. So as long as the Yankees1 play one game over these last three days of the season(not a given with Florida rain), then Hayes will have sole possession of the top spot. That brings me to the player hitting .332, who is still in the league. Shortstop Allen Cordoba could obviously pass Hayes with a good game or two and win the title, but you have extra incentive to root against him. He’s a shortstop for the Cardinals. After Cordoba, there are two players tied for fourth with a .323 average, so there is a little room between them and Hayes.
A GCL batting title obviously isn’t a huge deal, though it’s definitely a good sign for your 18-year-old third baseman to win the title. It will be fun to track it over the next three days and something to reference in the future when talking about him if he does win. Plus it’s also much better if he wins it, rather than a Cardinals’ player.
Pirates Game Graph
The Pirates trail by 4.5 games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a three game lead for the top wild card spot.
Indianapolis is 5-5 in their last ten games. They have a two game lead in the division.
Altoona is 7-3 in their last ten games. They are in second place, five games back of Bowie and they lead the wild card by 2.5 games.
Bradenton is 5-5 in their last ten games. They trail Palm Beach by four games in the standings.
West Virginia is 8-2 in their last ten games and they have a nine game lead in the division. Their magic number is four.
Morgantown is 8-2 in their last ten games. They are a 1/2 game ahead in the wild card chase.
The Bristol Pirates are 4-6 in their last ten games. They are 2.5 back in the wild card.
The GCL Pirates have been eliminated from the postseason.
The DSL Pirates’ season is finished. They did not make the playoffs.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates won 7-2 over the Marlins on Wednesday night. Gerrit Cole will be on the mound tonight, making his 26th start of the season. In his last start, he allowed one unearned run over seven innings against the Giants. Cole gave up two runs over seven innings against the Marlins back on May 27th. Justin Nicolino will start for Miami. He has a 3.77 ERA in five starts. In his last start against the Phillies, he allowed two earned runs over 7.2 innings.
In the minors, Yeudy Garcia comes into tonight’s start with a 2.13 ERA, the lowest in the South Atlantic League. He has a 1.05 WHIP, third lowest in the league. He is eighth with 96 strikeouts. In his last two starts combined, Garcia has thrown 11 shutout innings. Sixth round pick JT Brubaker is now listed as the Morgantown starter, with Dario Agrazal Jr. listed for tomorrow. The DSL Pirates’ season is done. You can view the season recap here. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.
MLB: Pittsburgh (76-48) @ Marlins (50-76) 7:10 PM
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (2.49 ERA, 38:162 BB/SO, 162.1 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (77-55) @ Louisville (62-70) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (0.99 ERA, 15:34 BB/SO, 27.1 IP)
AA: Altoona (69-61) vs Trenton (67-62) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Jason Creasy (4.44 ERA, 47:59 BB/SO, 131.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (67-61, 35-23 second half) @ Ft Myers (70-59) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD
Low-A: West Virginia (78-49, 41-17 second half) @ Augusta (61-65) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (2.13 ERA, 33:96 BB/SO, 109.2 IP)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (34-30) vs Mahoning Valley (28-34) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: JT Brubaker (3.25 ERA, 11:35 BB/SO, 55.1 IP)
Rookie: Bristol (27-31) vs Pulaski (40-22) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD
GCL: Pirates (27-29) vs Phillies (34-23) 12:00 PM (season preview)
DSL: Pirates (30-42) (season recap)
Here is a video of Josh Bell driving in a run on Tuesday. He is hitting .333/.412/.524 in 23 games.
8/26: Stephan Meyer and Tanner Anderson promoted to Morgantown.
8/26: Cristian Mota promoted to Bristol.
8/25: Ke’Bryan Hayes promoted to Morgantown. Raul Siri promoted to Bristol.
8/25: Kevin Kramer promoted to West Virginia. Jordan Luplow placed on disabled list.
8/25: John Bowker placed on disabled list. Kelson Brown activated from disabled list.
8/25: Pedro Florimon sent outright to Indianapolis.
8/25: Alen Hanson placed on temporary inactive list.
8/22: Jordy Mercer activated from disabled list. Travis Ishikawa placed on disabled list.
8/22: Josh Wall sent outright to Indianapolis.
8/22: Pirates release Jesus Ronco and Luis Brun
8/21: Josh Harrison activated from disabled list. Josh Wall designated for assignment.
8/20: Corey Hart assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
8/20: Travis Snider signed to minor league deal.
8/19: Josh Wall added to Pirates. Pedro Florimon designated for assignment.
8/18: Edwin Espinal placed on disabled list. Junior Sosa activated from Bradenton disabled list.
8/18: Adam Miller placed on disabled list. Jeremy Bleich activated from temporary inactive list.
8/16: Jose Salazar retired.
8/16: Pirates sign Frank Herrmann. Jeremy Bleich placed on temporary inactive list.
8/16: Rob Scahill sent to Indianapolis on rehab.
8/14: Edward Salcedo traded to Royals. Robert Stock assigned to Altoona.
8/13: Angel Sanchez placed on disabled list. Andy Vasquez sent to Altoona.
This Date in Pirates History
Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus current Pirates’ shortstop Jordy Mercer turns 29 today. Starting with the most recent former players first:
Mike Maddux, 1995 Pirates. He gets lost in the shadow of his HOF brother, but he actually played 15 seasons in the majors, throwing a total of 472 games. His Pirates career was short with eight relief appearances and a 9.00 ERA. He was signed in April and released in May.
Mike Edwards, 1977 second baseman. He went 0-for-6 in seven games as a September call-up, then he got traded prior to the 1978 season. He has a twin brother named Marshall that played in the majors for three seasons. The strange part about them is that his brother batted and threw lefty, while Mike hit and threw right-handed. The Pirates also had a player named Mike Edwards during the 2006 season.
Charlie Engle, 1930 infielder. The Pirates selected him in the Rule 5 draft. He hit .264 in 67 games. Only other Major League experience was 20 games for the 1925-26 Athletics.
Eddie Mulligan, 1928 infielder. Had a 25-year pro career. His .233 in 27 games, seeing very little time despite spending the entire year with the Pirates
Dave Wright, pitcher on July 22,1895. His first two appearances in a Pirates’ uniform were actually mid-season exhibition games that he started. He only non-exhibition game appearance with the Pirates came as a reliever, throwing the last two innings of a game on July 22nd. He gave up six runs in his first inning, then threw a scoreless ninth. His only other Major League game came in 1897 and he defeated the Pirates, throwing a 15-14 complete game.