In his last start, Tyler Glasnow displayed the best fastball command I have personally seen from him. That’s from watching many of his starts the last two years and seeing him in person three times prior to last year. Glasnow also had command of his curve and his change-up. The curve wasn’t the plus pitch we normally see and the change still needs work, but he was throwing both for strikes. The other day I looked at the recent run that Jameson Taillon was on and jinxed him by comparing it to the best stretches of his career. So today I decided to test those powers again by looking at the control from Glasnow and trying to find similar stretches during his career.

Glasnow has averaged 3.5 walks per nine innings this season, which ties the mark he put up last year. Prior to that he was at 4.1 in 2014 and 4.9 in 2013. In 2012 it was 4.0, but he was in the GCL, where his issue was leaving fastballs up and it’s not hard to get GCL players to chase high fastballs. For that reason, I’m going to ignore those 2012 stats. He didn’t have better command back then, he was just facing worse hitters.

So starting back in 2013, when he was the original Mitch Keller dominating the South Atlantic League, we try to find a similar six game stretch to the 13 walks in 33 innings he has now. That year he had one game without a walk, his season opener. If you go down to June, you can find a long stretch of games in which he had somewhere from one to three walks. The best six game stretch was even better than his start this year. From July 9 to August 16, he allowed ten walks over 31 innings. He had 44 strikeouts and a 1.74 ERA, so it’s actually a similar stretch to now, just a much better WHIP due to less hits as well.

In 2014 with Bradenton, he had one game with no walks, his last game. That’s interesting just from the fact he went from his second start in 2013 until his next to last start in 2014 with at least one walk in every game. Glasnow’s best six-game stretch was 12 walks over his last six starts. He also threw 36.1 innings, so not only was it one less walk, but he threw 3.1 more innings. He had 51 strikeouts and a 1.73 ERA over that stretch. Not surprisingly, those numbers are very similar to the 2013 stretch and his current stretch.

Last year he had seven starts without a walk. That basically tells you there were some pretty bad games in there as well because he only made 22 starts. I disregarded his one rehab start with Morgantown, which was 1.1 innings and a limited pitch count. The next start he went four innings, so starting there, he threw 31.2 innings over six starts, walking just eight batters. You might not be surprised to find out he had a 1.70 ERA during that stretch and 45 strikeouts.

So basically, when Glasnow has his best command each of the last four seasons, you can expect an ERA between 1.64 and 1.74, with about 13 strikeouts per nine innings. I didn’t know that ahead of time, so I’m actually shocked it’s so close all four years. If you take those stretches out of his career numbers, he has a 2.86 ERA over that time and he averaged 11.6 strikeouts. Still a very good pitcher obviously, but when Glasnow is commanding his pitches like he has been this season, he puts up elite numbers.


Pirates were postponed on Tuesday


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates and Reds were postponed on Tuesday. They will send Juan Nicasio to the mound for his second start against Cincinnati. On April 29th, he threw seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts against the Reds. In his last start, he allowed four runs over 4.1 innings. Three of those runs were unearned until an error call was changed to a hit on Tuesday. Nicasio saw his ERA go up almost a full point. The Reds counter with Alfredo Simon, who has a 9.86 ERA over 21 innings, with 21 strikeouts and a 2.19 WHIP. He gave up three runs over four innings against the Pirates on April 30th.

In the minors, Clay Holmes has the early morning start for Altoona. He has had two poor outings which really skew his numbers. In those games, he allowed 12 earned runs in 6.2 innings. In the other four games, he has given up six runs over 21.2 innings.

Chad Kuhl makes his sixth start and his pitch count limit has been raised, as the team held him back due to missed time during Spring Training. He has the third best ERA (1.35) in the International League and his 0.82 WHIP is just 0.04 behind Jameson Taillon, who leads the league.

West Virginia has off today.

MLB: Pittsburgh (17-15) @ Reds (14-19) 7:10 PM
Probable starter: Juan Nicasio (4.02 ERA, 15:32 BB/SO, 31.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (15-15) @ Syracuse (19-12) 6:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (1.35 ERA, 5:21 BB/SO, 26.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (15-17) vs Trenton (17-13) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Probable starter: Clay Holmes (5.72 ERA, 16:16 BB/SO, 28.1 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (15-16) vs Ft Myers (18-14) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Colten Brewer (3.90 ERA, 12:25 BB/SO, 27.2 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (17-13) @ Lakewood (10-20) 6:35 PM 5/11 (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (3.27  ERA, 13:37 BB/SO, 33.0 IP)


Here is a home run from Alen Hanson because apparently MiLB likes to show Hanson highlights. Not that they aren’t good, there have just been a lot of them lately and not much else from Indianapolis.


5/9: Mel Rojas Jr. traded to the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations.

5/8: Cole Tucker added to West Virginia Power roster. Logan Ratledge assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/7: Billy Roth added to West Virginia Power roster.

5/6: Jung-ho Kang activated from disabled list.

5/6: Mel Rojas Jr. assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/5: Jason Rogers optioned to Indianapolis.

5/2: Jason Creasy placed on disabled list. Brandon Waddell promoted to Altoona

5/2: Tate Scioneaux promoted to Bradenton.

4/30: Jared Hughes activated from the disabled list. Rob Scahill sent to Indianapolis.

4/27: Sam Street placed on the temporary inactive list. Jose Regalado added to Bradenton.


Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, and one of them shines above the rest. Quickly with the other four players before we get into the All-Star pitcher. Mike Garcia, pitcher for the 1999-2000 Pirates. Mark Huismann, pitcher for two playoff teams in 1990-91. Walt Terrell, who was Huismann’s teammate in 1990. Both Huismann and Terrell were born on the same date in 1958. The Pirates signed Terrell just 16 days after he became a free agent following the 1989 season. They ended up getting just 16 starts and two wins out of him before he was released. Gene Hermanski, outfielder for the 1953 Pirates, who served in the military during WWII, missing two seasons.

Rip Sewell was born on this date in 1907. During his 12 seasons in Pittsburgh, he won 143 games. He came from a great baseball family, with three cousins that played in the majors and one of them (Joe Sewell) is in the Hall of Fame. Sewell was a three-time All-Star and he received MVP votes in three different seasons while with the Pirates. He led the NL with 21 wins in 1943 and his 13-3 record in 1948 gave him the best winning percentage in the NL. Sewell is famous for throwing the Eephus pitch, which he started doing in 1942 after a hunting accident. You can read a full bio on Sewell here.

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  1. John, you did it again. It looks like Glasnow is having one of his worst starts in a long time. 5 walks and only 1 strikeout, so far.

    Can you please stop writing about the great starts of the Pirates Prospect.


    The Future of our team!!!

  2. Not meaning to quibble with the analysis since there’s no real way to truly measure command – yet – but has Glasnow shown the ability to hit the glove consistently over this stretch (command) or simply hit the zone (control)?

    • Good point NMR. Just by judging from his ERA in those stretches, he must be commanding his pitches, but you’re right, an absence of walks doesn’t in itself guarantee good command.

      • Heh, for most pitchers I’d agree, but Glasnow’s fastball/curve has made him a man among boys at every stop until this year. A-ball hitters especially aren’t anywhere close to hitting stuff like his if it’s in the zone. Just crazy good.

    • His last start was the best command I’ve seen from him. You could say control if you want, but without seeing many of those games mentioned above from the first two years, and a couple from last year’s stretch, I would be speculating. Low walks plus great results usually means good command, but not always.

  3. Hey hey, good stuff. Hopefully he’ll be up right around the time the Pens win the cup and make my transition to fully focusing on baseball that much more exciting.

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