Before the Pirates faced off against the Rockies on Sunday afternoon, Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington commented about the possibility of Tyler Glasnow being called up to the majors in September or October. As of this time, the Pirates do not have plans on Tyler Glasnow being called up when rosters expand on Tuesday.
“We couldn’t be more excited about Tyler Glasnow and his growth and development from the beginning of this year and the beginning of his time with the Pirates, and we are completely looking forward to what he can be at the Major League level,” Huntington said. “At this point, he is not on our radar to come up here in September or October, because we still feel there is some development left to go.”
Huntington began to explain his answer to the question of Glasnow being a September call-up by reminding reporters of the hype and expectations of Gregory Polanco.
“It’s funny, I started to think about Polanco and the conversations we had week after week after week after week with Gregory,” Huntington said with a smirk and while laughing. “Performance and success in Triple-A does not always translate to the big leagues.”
“He’s [Glasnow] got weapons. The consistency of the weapons. The ability to utilize those weapons. The ability to come up and get Major League hitters out versus Triple-A hitters outs. These are completely different spectrums.”
Glasnow has posted an 0.81 ERA in six Triple-A starts in Indianapolis, which means he has only given up three earned runs in 33.1 innings. Glasnow has struck out 39 batters while walking 17.
By first glance, it seems as if Glasnow has dominated during his time so far in Indianapolis; however, that has not necessarily been the case. He has pitched much better in his last two starts, but his first four were very deceptive to the glancing eye.
In his first four starts for Indy, Glasnow posted a 1.62 WHIP and walked 5.57 per nine. He posted an 0.37 groundball rate in those starts, as well. Glasnow has never been a groundball pitcher, but that is extremely low. He also had a lot of trouble holding runners on base, with base runners taking off on Glasnow successfully over and over.
In his last two starts, Glasnow hasn’t allowed a run in 12.1 innings, and he has only walked four while striking out 14. His WHIP is much better at 0.73, as well.
Although Huntington seemed to all but shut down every thought about Glasnow being called up this year, he did subtly say that the door hasn’t quite been shut on the possibility, even though it is unlikely.
“We’ve left the door open, just because he’s doing some really good things,” Huntingdon said, “but he continues to remind us that there are some really good things that he still needs to do.”
Huntington made it a point to say that it would be asking a lot for a recently turned 22-year-old to step in and contribute in a pennant race.
“As we’ve tried to say since day one, our goal is to bring a prospect up to the big leagues when we feel he’s ready to come up here and compete,” Huntington said. “In the environment that we’d ask someone to come up in September, it’s about winning every single game, and putting ourselves in a position to win as many of these final 34 to close this three-game loss column deficit to win a division. It’s a lot to ask a young player to come up and help you win a game in April let alone to come up and help you win a playoff-caliber game in September. Our goal is to put our guys in positions to be successful. Our goal is to bring up young players when they’re ready to help us win. When we get to that point with Tyler, we’ll absolutely look to bring him up. We just don’t necessarily see that happening in September or October.”
As we have wrote about Glasnow before, he seems to struggle when making an adjustment to a new level. At this time, the Pirates cannot afford to bring Glasnow come up and struggle for three or four starts while in a playoff race. Could Glasnow be an upgrade? He may be. However, it is better for the player and organization for him to get his innings in Triple-A and come up next season in June.
Watching Glasnow pitch multiple times this season, I agree with the masses that it would be a lot of fun to watch Tyler Glasnow come up to the big leagues now; however, he simply isn’t quite ready. It wasn’t until four weeks ago that the organization felt that his changeup was good enough to promote him to Triple-A, let alone the big leagues.
His fastball is dynamic, and when he is locating it well, he can be almost unhittable. The problem comes into play when the fastball isn’t quite on, and Glasnow cannot use his that fastball to set up his strong curveball. A couple more months in Triple-A can do Tyler Glasnow really well to continue to work on these things so that, once he does arrive in Pittsburgh, he is ready to contribute at a high level.
“I can’t wait to see him on a big league mound in Pittsburgh,” Huntington exclaimed, “but he’s not a guy we are planning on as we sit here today.”