This is likely it for Tyler Glasnow this season. There is a chance that Indianapolis comes back and wins three games to take this series. If they do, they will play one game on Tuesday against the winner from the PCL. There is no guarantee that Indianapolis can come back, and if they do, would they even go with Glasnow over more reliable pitchers in Chris Volstad and Wilfredo Boscan? So as I said, this is likely it for Glasnow and the question now becomes, which Tyler Glasnow will we see tonight? We have seen three different pitchers in his last three starts.
On September 1st, Glasnow couldn’t get out of the first inning because he couldn’t throw strikes. He walked five batters and gave up a double off the wall. It was an ugly outing.
Five days later, Glasnow had a terrific outing, giving up one run over 7.1 innings. He had no walks and eight strikeouts. This was as good as he has looked in AAA.
Another five days went by and Glasnow got a start in the playoffs. He only allowed one earned run over five innings, but it could have been a lot worse. He gave up seven hits and three walks. He looked uncomfortable on the mound, showing very poor body language. It wasn’t anywhere near either of the previous two starts. His control was okay, but there was no killer instinct on the mound. He wasn’t in control and looked very lucky to get through five innings.
In what is likely the biggest start of his career up to this point, can the dominating Tyler Glasnow show up? He has a horrible track record in the playoffs, so the safe bet would be something similar to his last start. You hope for the September 6th results, because that would be a great sign in a huge spot, but you also worry about the September 1st Glasnow showing up.
As I mentioned after his last start, his prior performances in big spots don’t give you a lot of confidence at this point. It will be something he has to overcome, because once you’re in the majors fighting for a playoff spot, every start becomes big. A dominating performance like he is capable of, would be a nice way to go into the off-season. He will actually get to add some more innings in the Fall Instructional League, which will allow him to pitch into October next year, but those innings won’t compare to what he goes through tonight in a must-win playoff game.
A few quick notes on some prospects in yesterday’s Indianapolis game. Alen Hanson showed almost no patience at the plate, twice swinging at the first pitch, both resulting in outs. He also swung at a pitch that should have been ball four, but it resulted in a strikeout in a big spot. As a lead-off hitter, he needs to be more of a catalyst. He was doing a good job the first four games of the playoffs, so I won’t get on him too much for one bad game.
Josh Bell probably had his worst game as a pro at first base. He missed two catches and threw away a potential double play ball. All three were rather easy plays. I saw him have another real bad game recently as well, so he isn’t showing signs of improving late in the season. It’s something to remember next year when he’s tearing the cover off the ball at the plate(at least from the left side) and people want him up sooner than June 10th. He is going to need all those AAA games before you want to see him play first base at PNC. He will be in the Major League portion of Spring Training, which is a couple extra weeks of work compared to the minor league side, so that will give him a nice jump start on the season.
Willy Garcia is having a poor postseason, going 3-for-21, with seven strikeouts. You want to predict big things for him, but he just makes it so hard to do that. He has power and a cannon for an arm. I’ve seen him make some real good plays in the outfield and I’ve seen bad routes and poor jumps. I’ve heard the same from others, so you can say he’s average on defense, with potential to be better. I think he’s lost a step or two because I’ve seen him show decent speed, but last night he looked real slow on a play I thought he would beat out, yet ended up getting beat by two steps. He also went 4-for-10 in steals this year, so he’s probably below average at running now. The walks/strikeouts are still an issue, though he improved the latter.
Watching him play, it just looks like he has no pitch recognition most of the time. I’m not sure why anyone throws him strikes or throws him a fastball. He swings fastball most of the time, and just in general, he swings most of the time. If you throw him a strike in the strike zone, chances are something bad will happen. He has the power to go out of any park and that also means opposite field or straight away center. He just turned 23, so if he can continue to trend in a positive way with the strikeouts, while improving the walks, then you might have a 20 homer corner outfielder with average defense and a strong arm. If he doesn’t improve, then you have someone that will have a hard time hitting Major League pitchers armed with scouting reports.
The Morning Report and Prospect Watch will both continue until the day the last playoff game is played(which means this could be the last one). You can find last night’s Prospect Watch here.
Indianapolis vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Best-of-five series. Indianapolis won the series 3-0
9/9: Indianapolis 7, Scranton/WB 3
9/10: Indianapolis 6, Scranton/WB 1
9/11: Indianapolis 4, Scranton/WB 2
Indianapolis vs Columbus. Best-of-five series. International League finals. Indianapolis trails series 2-0
9/15: Columbus 6, Indianapolis 5
9/16: Columbus 5, Indianapolis 4
9/17: @Indianapolis 7:05
9/18: @Indianapolis 7:15 if necessary
9/19: @Indianapolis 7:05 if necessary
Altoona vs Bowie. Best-of-five series. Altoona lost the series 3-1.
9/9: Altoona 8, Bowie 7
9/10: Bowie 7, Altoona 0
9/11: Bowie 11, Altoona 3
9/12: Bowie 3, Altoona 0
West Virginia Power vs Hickory. Best-of-three series. The Power lost the series 2-1.
9/9: West Virginia 4, Hickory 2
9/11: Hickory 6, West Virginia 3
9/12: Hickory 1, West Virginia 0
Morgantown vs Williamsport. Best-of-three series. Morgantown won the series 2-1
9/9: @Morgantown 7:05 postponed until 9/10
9/10: Morgantown 2, Williamsport 1
9/11: Williamsport 3, Morgantown 1
9/12: @Williamsport 12:00 postponed until 9/13
9/13: Morgantown 4, Williamsport 0
Morgantown vs Staten Island. Best-of-three series. NYPL Finals. Morgantown wins 2-0
9/14: Morgantown 4, Staten Island 3
9/15: Morgantown 3, Staten Island 1
The Pirates trail by four games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a three game lead for the top wild card spot.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates lost 3-2 in 12 innings to the Cubs on Wednesday night. Charlie Morton will be on the mound this afternoon. He has not faced the Cubs yet this season. In his last start, Morton allowed two runs over six innings against the Brewers. Kyle Hendricks goes for the Cubs, his 29th start of the year. He has a 4.08 ERA in 159 innings this season. Hendricks has faced the Pirates three times this year, allowing ten runs over 16 innings.
MLB: Pittsburgh (87-58) vs Cubs (84-61) 12:35 PM
Probable starter: Charlie Morton (4.02 ERA, 37:85 BB/SO, 118.2 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (83-61) vs Columbus (83-61) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (2.20 ERA, 22:48 BB/SO, 41.0 IP)
AA: Altoona (74-68)
High-A: Bradenton (74-64)
Low-A: West Virginia (87-52)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (42-34) NYPL Champs
Rookie: Bristol (29-36)
GCL: Pirates (28-31) (season recap)
DSL: Pirates (30-42) (season recap)
Here we have video of Casey Hughston’s two-run homer in the ninth inning that gave Morgantown a 3-1 lead
9/15: Radhames Liz designated for assignment. Vance Worley added to Pirates.
9/15: Chad Kuhl promoted to Indianapolis. Matt Benedict assigned to Altoona. Brad Lincoln activated from DL.
9/10: A.J. Burnett activated from disabled list.
9/9: Zack Dodson promoted to Indianapolis.
9/9: Felipe Gonzalez and Hunter Morris promoted to Altoona. Robert Stock assigned to GCL Pirates.
9/7: Travis Ishikawa activated from disabled list.
9/5: Travis Ishikawa assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
This Date in Pirates History
Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, starting with the first round pick in 2000. Sean Burnett started 13 games for the 2004 Pirates before getting injured. He didn’t return to the majors until 2008 and at that time, he was a reliever. He remained with the Pirates until June 2009, when he was sent to the Nationals as part of the Joel Hanrahan trade. Burnett had a 4.54 ERA in 160.2 innings with the Pirates.
Jim Umbricht, pitcher for the 1960 World Series champs. He played three series in Pittsburgh (1959-61), posting a 5.12 ERA in 51 innings. The Houston Colt .45’s (Astros) took him in the expansion draft and he pitched well there for two year, but developed cancer, and by Opening Day in 1964, he passed away at the age of thirty-three. His number is retired by the Astros.
Bob Dillinger, 1950-51 third baseman. Hit .279 in 70 games for the Pirates. Played six years in the majors, leading the league in stolen bases three times and hits once.
Sheriff Blake, had 8.10 ERA in six relief appearances for 1920 Pirates as a rookie. After the Pirates, he didn’t pitch in the majors until 1924. Then after eight seasons, he spent 1932-36 in the minors. In 1937, he played for both St Louis teams. Blake won 228 games as a pro, playing a total of 21 seasons.
Whitey Glazner, 1920-23 pitcher. He went 14-5, 2.77 in 234 innings in 1921, which was easily his best season in the majors. Went 27-43 the rest of his career and finished with a 4.21 career ERA.
Wildfire Schulte, 1917 outfielder. Hit .214 in 30 games for Pirates near the end of his career. In 1911, he became the first player to reach the 20-20-20-20 club, collecting 30 doubles, 21 triples, 21 homers and 23 stolen bases. That feat wasn’t matched again until 1957 by Willie Mays and it’s only been done four times total in baseball history.
Otto Krueger, 1903-04 utility fielder. Hit .219 in 166 games for Pirates, seeing time at five different positions.
Dick Padden, second baseman for 1896-98 Pirates. Hit .265 over 323 games with Pittsburgh, then was one of three players dealt to Washington Senators for star second baseman Heinie Reitz.