First Pitch: Why Tyler Glasnow Isn’t Ready and Isn’t Needed in Pittsburgh

The Pirates will call up six players tomorrow when rosters expand. On Sunday night, I reported that those six players would be Travis Snider, Jaff Decker, Pedro Florimon, Elias Diaz, Radhames Liz, and Bobby LaFromboise. Today, those six players were officially placed on the MLB taxi squad, meaning they have to be called up in the next day (but also allowing Indianapolis to add a few players so they wouldn’t have to play six players short tonight).

In addition to those six, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob Scahill gets activated from his rehab assignment to give the team another pitcher. Vance Worley won’t come up, as it appears the Pirates are keeping him in a starting role for now while Indianapolis is still playing.

One player who you won’t be seeing is Tyler Glasnow. On Sunday, Neal Huntington said that the Pirates are not planning on calling up their top prospect. This news is going to make some people upset, especially if they’re only focused on his 0.81 ERA or his upside as a number one starter. But the truth is that Glasnow just isn’t ready.

Looking past the ERA, Glasnow has a 12.2% walk rate. That’s his worst rate since 2013 in West Virginia, and his second worst rate at any level in minor league ball. He showed some improvements with his control in Altoona, but only after a rough start at the level. Now he’s going up against hitters who are more advanced, with a few who have been in the majors. As a result, he’s going to have to adjust again to a new level of competition, and show that he can pitch without control problems in a higher level.

If Glasnow can’t limit control in Triple-A, how will he fare in the majors? Jeff Locke has dealt with control problems, and has just an 8.5% walk rate this year. In no month has he been over 10.8%. So why would Glasnow be destined for success when he’s got a 12.2% rate in Triple-A?

Then there’s the fact that Glasnow had a 1.62 WHIP up until his last two outings, where he combined for 12.1 shutout innings, with 14 strikeouts and four walks. Those are outstanding numbers, and positive signs going forward. But that’s also just two starts.

Last year, Nick Kingham got the call to Triple-A and gave up one run in 14 innings over his first two outings, with a 10:1 K/BB ratio. Expanding that further, he gave up just one earned run in 26.2 innings over his first four starts. He struggled down the stretch, including a 4.99 ERA in 61.1 innings over his final ten starts of the year. Granted, we don’t know when his elbow problems started, but this shows that you can’t make much out of limited success at a new level.

We could also look at Adrian Sampson just this year. He had decent numbers through his first ten outings, with a 3.15 ERA in 60 innings, and a 53:17 K/BB ratio. Right after that, he gave up one earned run in 13.2 innings over his next two starts, with a 14:2 K/BB ratio. He looked ready based off those two starts. That was until he struggled in his final nine starts in the Pirates’ organization, with a 5.86 ERA in 50.2 innings. After those two starts, Sampson had a 2.69 ERA in 73.2 innings. But that didn’t prevent him from future struggles in Triple-A.

Glasnow is a better prospect and has a higher upside than either Kingham or Sampson. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have things to work on, and it doesn’t mean he is immune to a league adjusting to him. Maybe that won’t happen to the same extreme as Sampson or Kingham recently, but it will happen, which is why you don’t just promote a guy after he puts up two good outings.

There’s also very little need for the current version of Glasnow. He’s dealing with control problems in the upper levels, and his changeup just became good enough that the Pirates trusted him above Double-A, but isn’t to the point where it’s a great pitch. You might think that he’s better than Jeff Locke or Charlie Morton, but the reality is that right now he’s a guy with poor control of his fastball, a changeup he can’t rely on, and a really good curveball that he can’t set up properly. His fastball lets him get away with a lot of mistakes and poor control in the minors, but there’s a big jump to the majors, and that probably won’t work in the big leagues.

You could suggest that he come up and pitch in a relief role. But why would the Pirates need him? Their bullpen just obliterated any other bullpen in baseball last month. They ranked first in WPA, shutdowns, and were the best in the NL in WAR. They had two relievers (Tony Watson and Arquimedes Caminero) who didn’t allow a run the entire month. Joe Blanton was lights out in every role he saw. You’re not going to replace Melancon or Watson with Glasnow. You’ve got Caminero, Soria, Blanton, and Hughes as right-handed options for the middle innings. When exactly would Glasnow pitch, and which productive reliever would you replace to get the novelty of the “David Price” going for it move?

Speaking of which, the biggest argument to call up Glasnow is that the Rays called up David Price in 2008. But the Rays had a middle of the pack bullpen the entire year, and that’s not something you can say about the Pirates this year.

More recently, the Royals called up Brandon Finnegan, who played a big long-relief role last year in the playoffs. But the truth is that the Royals didn’t have someone for Finnegan’s role before he was called up. The Pirates do have someone for that role, and that is Joe Blanton. He’s not a rookie like Finnegan, but he’s doing the same thing for the Pirates’ bullpen that Finnegan did for the Royals last year.

Glasnow won’t be in the majors until June 2016 at the earliest. And don’t think that’s because he’s ready now, but the Pirates will hold him out until the Super Two deadline passes, all to save money. He’s probably not even going to be ready next June. He will still have a lot to work on, and will still need to make adjustments to his game. Next June will just be the earliest time that it will make sense for him to carry his work to the majors.

The arguments right now are that Glasnow is ready based on limited success, and that he’s only being held back due to money. Those were the same arguments last year that surrounded Gregory Polanco. They were the same arguments surrounding Gerrit Cole and Starling Marte. And none of those guys were fully ready when they reached the majors.

Polanco struggled after his first ten games, and most of the people calling the Pirates cheap last May were probably calling for Polanco to be sent down to Triple-A this May. Cole pitched more like a number three/number four starter in his rookie season, and didn’t become an ace until almost a year and a half into his pro career. Marte struggled with consistency in 2012, and didn’t look like a star until the following year. So why would Glasnow immediately make an impact, while having a lot less time in Triple-A than those guys?

I haven’t even gotten into the fact that Glasnow has a history of nerves taking over early in new levels, has struggled in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, lets runners go at-will because he’s only focused on development right now, and has said himself that he’s got things to work on in Triple-A. I didn’t go into detail about the negatives, such as potentially damaging his mechanics by sending him up without his best stuff (leading to him trying to do things different to compensate), or starting his clock, which would burn service time if he gets injured in Spring Training next year (as he’d have to go on the MLB disabled list).

No one really wants Tyler Glasnow up. They want the idea of Tyler Glasnow up. They want a top prospect who is going to be an ace one day, but can step in right now and be an upgrade over Jeff Locke/Charlie Morton, or that essential piece that will be the difference between the Pirates going home early and winning it all. The problem is that Tyler Glasnow isn’t that prospect. His ERA might suggest he is, but everything else suggests differently.

When people can’t accept this, they turn to the usual arguments about the Pirates being too cheap, or not wanting to put the best team on the field. But the Pirates made some of the best moves at the deadline, giving themselves a huge upgrade in the rotation (J.A. Happ), and two big upgrades to the bullpen (Blanton, Soria), among other upgrades on the offensive side. In the process, they took on about $10 M for the remainder of the season. Nothing about their approach this year suggests they are cheap, or unconcerned with putting the best team possible on the field.

The truth is that Tyler Glasnow isn’t ready this year. He probably won’t be next June either. But he’ll be a lot closer at that point, and there will be less on the line at that point if/when he comes up and struggles out of the gate.

**Source: Pirates Will Call Up Six When Rosters Expand, Including Elias Diaz. From Sunday night, the list of guys who will be called up tomorrow. As noted above, all six were added to the taxi squad today, which pretty much confirms the news.

Shameless promotion here: As of this writing, no other outlet has reported these upcoming moves, even though Indianapolis sent out a press release today with the taxi squad info. It’s been over 24 hours since we first reported the upcoming transactions, and that kind of exclusive window for news is unheard of these days. While the names went out to non-subscribers as well, you guys (our subscribers) got the details on each player, while also getting very little mystery leading up to the event (how many times did we say that Diaz had moved past Sanchez, or that Liz was moving to the long-relief role for a call-up?).

We’re no strangers to breaking news, and it’s kind of a “been there, done that” feeling when it happens now. But this feels kind of big, and I’m surprised that no one else has the info out there. At the same time, I’m also very happy that you’ve got this exclusive news from us so early.

**Prospect Watch: Tarpley, Keller and Worley Headline Monday Night. Worley was left in Triple-A, and responded with two runs over eight innings. I’d expect him to remain down as starting depth while Indianapolis keeps playing.

**Ke’Bryan Hayes and Adrian Valerio Lead the GCL Pirates Top 10 Prospects. Report on the top prospects during the 2015 GCL Pirates season, which combines all of our live reports from the year.

**Morning Report: Two Different Approaches to Handling Young Pitchers. John Dreker looks at how the Pirates handled their prep pitchers from last year’s draft compared to how similar players were handled in other organizations.

  • Glasnow is not ready but he is certainly needed. I don’t think he should be called up and he won’t but have you seen Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke pitch.? They are terrible. 1 good start 3 bad ones. that 1 good start every 3 just tease you and make you think you want to see more but Charlie Morton is an absolute head case. I’m sick of watching him waste his ability. We’ve seen him dominate but hes proven over and over and over again he doesn’t have the ability to use it . you can say all you want about them being 4th and 5th starters. Well look up at STL. We can never catch STL with these two facing off against guys like Jamie Garcia and John Lackey. Probably STL 4th and 5th starters

  • That was a mic drop article there

    Nice job on the breaking news btw

  • I could only imagine the hatefest that would reign on the CIA board if they got ahold of this article…

    Nice well reasoned story Tim. In one ear and out the other for a lot of folks I am sure though.

    • I’ve already heard from a few of those clowns on Twitter. It’s amazing that they don’t even subscribe, yet still complain about the articles. Pretty telling about their views.

      • Really Tim they are the worst Pirate fans the Internet has to offer. I go there now and then to be entertained by the idiocy.

        And wow do they hate you. Which is a good thing IMO, as they don’t have a clue.

    • Has there been any announcement of Arizona Fall League participants? If so who are they? If not who would you all like to see from our organization?

  • Tim…you absolutely nailed it with the TG argument!

  • what ever, one and done in the playoffs and on to bitching about the steelers defense.

    • Who gives two s**ts about the Steeler defense here in this thread ? You must have bumped your head when looking for DK’s site. And speaking of one and done, I guess talking about the Steelers is relevant in that respect.

    • My personal plan is to spend a lot of time in October covering the Pirates in the playoffs, followed by Arizona Fall League coverage and off-season moves. I don’t even know if I’ll have time to learn a single player on the Steelers defense.

  • All good points Tim however if Glasnow was averaging 2 walks per nine innings he still would not be called up. There was nothing Glasnow could have done to get the call this year. So we really do not have to discuss why it is such a smart move to keep Glasnow down or why he isn’t ready. The fact is whether he is ready or not he will not see Pittsburgh until June of 2016 (unless he messes his arm up like Tallion and then it will be 2019).

    • You don’t know that, I don’t know that, so why even discuss a hypothetical situation?

      • If it looks like a Duck and it quacks like a duck then its a duck! Thats what the Pirates do its what they have always done and its what they will always do. Our players always mature in June. That will only change when the labor agreement with the MLPA changes

        • That is what MOST teams do. Remember the fuss about not calling up Kris Bryant?

          • The Cubs did not avoid super two when they brought Bryant up two weeks into the season. They did however gain an extra year of control. The Bucs in the same scenario would have brought him up in June. Its not the wrong thing to do for a team on a budget but its not the best baseball decision for the team either.

            • That was my point, Bob…they waited until they got an extra year of control.

              Super two is something else. I obviously got the ‘two’ confused, but my point still stands.

              • Using the Cubs as an example they will bring players along at all different times. The aforementioned Bryant came of in Mid April, Schwarber came up fora week in June and for good in July, Baez came up in August last year and Addison Russell came up in May this year. The point is not all of their top prospects come up in June. Sometimes they will make a baseball move when necessary (Schwarber). Now there budget is significantly larger then Pittsburgh but I don’t think their attendance is.

    • Fact? Fact? More like opinion. It is YOUR opinion that, whether he was ready or not, he’d not be up until next June.

      IF, IF, IF. If Jeff Locke had better control and Charlie didn’t have blowup innings, we wouldn’t need TG.

      The FACT is, TG is wild and inconsistent.

      As for Super Two, almost all teams do it with their star prospects, not just us, so deal with it. It is a FACT of current baseball life.

      • Come on, Foo. Take a deep breath and give Bob a break here.

        He’s absolutely correct, and your response makes me think you’re reading a bit too much into the anti-Front Office narrative. He’s not bashing them, he’s simply being pragmatic.

        • Seems like his intent is pragmatism but he overstates his point with “nothing he could have done” stuff. If Glasnow actually didnt have his issues with control they could have brought him up and just kept him down longer next year.

          The whole “he’s down for a clear reason” is the point of this article. Its not just service time and money that keep him down, and him being a better pitcher this moment would have made the trade deadline potentially different.

          • I’ll respectfully call bullsh*t on this one, Luke. I cannot possibly fathom how one could be skeptical of the “nothing he could have done” line while being totally cool with saying “yeah sure, they’d totally admit he’s ready to help in the heat of a pennant race and then purposely demote him for the first three months of the next season because of service time issues”. Come on now.

            That quite literally could be the first case of a team actually being found guilty of service time manipulation.

            I don’t see what is wrong with being honest and admitting that even if Glasnow was ready, you stand behind the extremely rational argument that one month of a rookie pitcher in a pennant race is not worth a year of service time in his prime and/or millions of extra dollars in arbitration. Perfectly valid.

            • If Glasnow was ready, he would be up in the majors pitching for us.

              He isn’t.

            • I can absolutely stand behind my notion that its not insane to imagine a scenario where the team went “crap, AJ is hurt and we need something quick. But Glasnow looks great, has the walk rate down to 2 per 9 and looks to have 2 good pitches.”

              Its not tough for the team to explain why they used him from August+ but preferred him in AAA the following year. We had a desperate need and he was the best alternative. We went out and filled the rotation out well, lessening that need from day 1. Then insert injured pitcher here as reasons they bring him up in July.

              But thats beyond what i was was arguing. I merely pointed out that i feel its doing what this article points out as not true by going “lets be honest, nothing he did was getting him here this year”. Glasnow cutting his BB rate and locating his stuff consistently absolutely had the chance to change the equation.

            • Hashtag asset management.

              Did I use that right? Is that how a hashtag works?

              Agree completely, NMR. Glasnow very well could have been ready, and he probably wouldn’t have been called up anyway. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because we don’t need him this year, there are more seasoned options for the same role (even if they’re less talented), and Glasnow next year, even if he already had sorted out the command, will probably be better than Glasnow this year. More importantly, Glasnow seven years from now will be better than Glasnow this year, and we want that player more.

              • I truly, honestly don’t understand the blatant denial of some folks here. Getting so needlessly defensive only makes it worse.

                The Front Office doesn’t need defended against the NUTTINGZ WALLET crowd feigning indignation over “doing what it takes to win” or whatever hot take they come up with, because that crowd, themselves, are more focused on money than winning.

                The Pirates have a starting pitcher in AAA with a K rate just 0.2% lower than Glasnow AND a walk rate less than 2/3s of what TG has done in twice the sample. If they truly “cared about winning”, why is’t that guy on their radar? The answer, of course, is because he’s Radhames Liz and no ridiculous narrative can be attached to Huntington/Nutting and the relative size of their testicles.

            • If the Bucs wanted to use Glasnow as a two-pitch reliever now and then leave him in Indy next year until he had a reliable third pitch, then that would not actually be service time manipulation, although you’d have a hard sell convincing the yinzer contingent on that.

        • Is he correct, or are you just agreeing with his opinion?

          My point was two fold…he stated it was fact (which it wasn’t) and as Doug states, he is bringing up a hypothetical situation and we could play that hypo game all day with Locke, Morton, et al.

          • I stated it as fact because the Pirates have never done it any other way with their top prospects. I don’t necessarily disagree with what they do but readiness hasn’t really appeared to be the main reason they promote in June and not some other time of year.

  • The Mets will have a free pass into the NLDS, but I highly doubt they’ll be starting Syndegaard in any of those games – or even use him in the pen unless they’re getting blown out. And this is a guy who was in consideration for ROY until recently. Despite OK overall #s, he’s had high peaks and low valleys… and I’d expect somewhat the same for Glasnow, even after he comes up next June.

    • Cant wait to see Mets fans react to them throwing Colon in a game in the playoffs over Syndegaard. At least with Niese you get a lefty, but even then its a bad lefty.

      • If you asked the average Mets fan right now who’d they’d pitch, the answer would be Colon over Syndegaard. The ones I interact with regularly admit that Noah will be great down the road but at the moment is erratic. And Mets fans love Colon.

        In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing Colon on a one year deal here next year if the Mets don’t offer him a contract. Perfect kind of guy to get through the spring until Taillon and Glasnow are ready.

  • well-reasoned and goofy at the same time…the reason they should bring Glasnow up is when you’re looking at a shot at a title you roll the dice on a weapon like this because it may kick in for a month AND we do not really have a number three starter…if he loses a couple games because of walks or inability to hold runners so be it…we’ve got Morton and Locke (and an injured old guy) and noone knows what they are going to give you any start (still in shock over fours runs in five pitchers)…what if he comes out and the size and delivery and stuff give 3-4 high-quality starts (before league catches up)?…time in this franchise’s history to live bold and grab a ring

    • The difference between an emotional and rational decision, Daniel, and I don’t say that condescendingly. We’re irrational by nature, it’s OK to want to roll the dice. But that also doesn’t necessarily make it right.

    • The only thinking here that is ” goofy ” is yours.

      • that is clever (who expected the quotation marks?)…to NMR/Luke: hear ya and so never take a chance? not maybe see if a starter-depleted team on their third time at the Brass Ring could catch catch lightning in a Title chase?…we’re in the playoffs, let us introduce a wildcard (get it?) of our own at the possible cost of a future year of control

    • Even with 3-4 high quality starts, one player isnt likely to gain us 5 games. If the idea is “go for it” its a bit late to expect any one player to net 4-5 additional wins over his alternative. They arent gonna roll him out for playoff starts, so you are looking at needing roughly 6-7 starts.

      He’d have to basically win all of his first 7 starts to push us to a division title, and that seems a bit far fetched. He could go 4-3 and net us maybe 1-2 more wins than Locke. Or he could not.

  • There’s something to be said for leaving him down and giving him the opportunity to experience playoff baseball. All part of the learning process.

  • “Nobody wants Glanow up now, they want the idea of Glasnow…”

    Pretty much sums it up for me.

    I got news for you, this team as currently constructed is good enough to win the World Series, even if they have to face Jake Arrietta in the WC game! We got Gerrit Cole. We’re good!

    • Gerrit Cole isn’t the best match up for the Cubs.

      • Preach. Though ill admit, if we are out of reach of the division with a week to go (say 5 games back) it seems likely they’ll go with Cole. Im sure they’ll discuss it, but it feels like a “he’s our guy” situation.

        Having said that, i think they will discuss how the Cubs have a few key guys who dont do as well against LHP. A few stellar starts from Liriano from this point on would help.

        • Nothing short of Liriano having a Jake Arrietta Aug 2015 month would persuade Pirates to name him over Cole for this game IMO.

          • Well, a look over the splits of basically every hitter not named Rizzo might make anyone go “wow”. Nearly every Cubs hitter is worse (or basically the same) against LHP.
            Bryant sees a dip in stats
            Schwarber implodes in stats
            Russell implodes in stats
            Montero slightly lesser
            Coghlan implodes

            You’d basically force them to use Austin Jackson, have Fowler be on a good side of his split, but everyone else be worse or lesser. Rizzo is Rizzo.

            Cole seems logical from a “he de ace, we use de ace” and he isnt a bad choice, but he might actually be sub optimal matchup wise.

      • Totally, emphatically disagree! Cole at his best is better than Liriano at his best. Cole at his average is significantly better than an average Liriano. Only a fool looks at splits and weights them higher than talent.

        Cole was drafter and developed for this type of game.

        • I think Cole should start, and think he’s the safer bet, but Peak-Liriano is *absolutely* better. Peak-Liriano has three pitches of better quality than Cole with so much movement that he doesn’t even need to throw them over the plate in order to generate swings.

          Now that doesn’t mean the chances of him getting to that peak are particularly high, and that’s why Cole rises to the top, IMO, but there might not be another guy outside of Sale or Kershaw that’s as unhittable as Liriano at his peak.

          • Agree. Peak Liriano has a game with an 89 Game Score this season – one of the top 30 games pitched by anyone in 2015. Cole hasn’t touched 80. Cole simply has higher valleys and lower peaks and hasn’t imploded. Both have departed starts where they’ve given up zero runs five times. But Liriano has given up 4+ runs five times vs. Cole’s two.

      • Cole has been better than Liriano against LHH this year, they cannot handle that back foot slider.

        Not sure how this would effect expected performance.

    • I agree with most of what you say here Scott, but I think that Liriano might be the best bet against the Cubs rather than Cole. Their hitters have a lot of problems with LH pitching, particularly Schwarber.

      • Same could be said for Cubs starting Lester to negate Walker, Alvarez and Polanco, but does anybody realistically think Cubs are going to start any other Pitcher than Jake? Of course not, because Jake is their best Pitcher. And that’s exactly why Pirates brass won’t hesitate for a second in naming Cole.

        In a one and done situation, only a fool would leave their Ace on the bench. Irregardless of splits.

  • Thank you! Hopefully, this article puts the Glasnow debate to bed for now. Like you said, I thinks everyone sees Hurdle bringing him in to strike out the side with the bases loaded. When he is more likely to walk in a couple of runs and then get yanked right now…

    • *By the article alone, I agree and cannot see how we ever thought he could be ready by June of 2016. The kid’s a mess and the numbers he has produced at every level must be good fortune or just plain luck.*

      We emphasize FB command and work off of that. He reportedly has a ++ FB and a + Curveball that is close to ++. He needs a changeup, but in recent outings he has thrown that pitch maybe once or twice? Not once or twice an inning, but once or twice a game. Would it be better to ignore the control issue and let him throw that pitch in a competitive environment? The hitters at AAA will give him immediate feedback.

      • The feedback hitters are giving him on the changeup is *exactly* what is keeping him from throwing it.

        Mainstream media folks who only follow the stat line don’t realize that he’s a relatively immature thrower at this stage of his development. Still very, very much learning to pitch; which is to be completely expected from a 22 yo who has been able to blow a high-90s fastball past anything that walks up to this point. Think back to his marginal trip through the AFL last year, where he was supposed to be working on that change before almost completely abandoning the pitch once competition started hitting him around.

        He’ll be just fine early in his career without much of a change *if* he can command both of his current plus-or-better pitches. The fact that he possesses neither right now should give serious pause to anyone *expecting* him to be a great big league starter this month.

        • NMR: I realize all of that, but I thought Tim went a little overboard trying to make a case that he is far from being a complete pitcher. That was the reason for the facetious remark leading off. He is not coming up because we do not want to waste these contract days with him wasting away in the BP. He probably already has his bus ticket to Pittsburgh for Jun 2016, and the Pirates will not do anything to risk his future.

          I know the guys who pick the Top 50, Top 100, Best Tools, etc. have been wrong before, but they are all pretty sure this kid can pitch right now, even without a 3rd pitch. And it amazes me that he supposedly knows that the Pirates want him to develop a changeup, but still does not realize that the more he throws that pitch the better it may get? What am I missing here? Is there an alternative 3rd pitch?

          • “I know the guys who pick the Top 50, Top 100, Best Tools, etc. have been wrong before, but they are all pretty sure this kid can pitch right now, even without a 3rd pitch.”

            Not sure exactly what you meant by this, but I’ve seen literally unanimous agreement with the Pirates keeping him down this summer, or at the very least, agreement with their stance that he still has plenty of refinement.

            “And it amazes me that he supposedly knows that the Pirates want him to develop a changeup, but still does not realize that the more he throws that pitch the better it may get?”

            Competitiveness, human nature, and immaturity.

            I’m sure Glasnow knows better, but you can throw that out the window with young guys in game action all too often. A big reason the Pirates keep kids back at Pirate City is specifically to keep them away from true game action so that whatever they’re working on has a better chance of sticking.

    • Put the Glasnow debate to bed rich ? Wrong ! Just look at a couple of the comments even following Tim’s well reasoned information. I don’t know if these people suffer from a reading disability, a reading comprehension problem, or are just plain stupid.

    • This is my standard response to TG or any other prospect, get the best 6 years, doesn’t matter if it is from age 21-26 or 25-30, in other words bring them up when ready. TG by many accounts, and most important by the teams that we know have made many great decisions is not ready. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is not ready next June, but if they bring him up is when the team feels that he could give them the best 6+ years of his career