Tyler Glasnow Dominates in Recent Start, While Mixing His Pitches

INDIANAPOLIS – The bridge to Pittsburgh is getting shorter for Tyler Glasnow in every outing.

His recent display of dominance carried over into Saturday. The start marked the first time this season that Glasnow has worked into the seventh inning. He struck out 11 hitters and just had the opposition off balance all night.

“I feel good,” Glasnow said. “It’s nice to go out every fifth day and throw [well].”

Glasnow mixed speeds and pitches well, including his changeup and curve, leading to the strong results. He still has some work to do on his curve, and most notably that changeup, but he has seen progression in each of those pitches in his last two starts. It has gotten better and he is noticeably more comfortable with each.

Though Glasnow, who just completed his 14th start at Triple-A, walked five in his previous start on Sunday, he also struck out seven in five innings. On Saturday night, he bounced back by walking just one. He was certainly effectively wild in the first couple innings of each game, but the control improved as the outing went along.

The wildness has led to Glasnow elevating his pitch count at times and having to leave early than otherwise expected. This was not the case Saturday night.

One other focus lately has been on the changeup. He threw several changeups, showcasing improvement on the pitch, while getting impressive downward movement on some.

“Some days, [the changeup] will be good,” Glasnow said. “Some days, it will be off. That is just how pitching is. Each day, I am just going to keep throwing it no matter what and try to make adjustments with it, but I have been feeling really good with it lately.”

A couple of weeks back, Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington came out and said that Glasnow needs to show that changeup to make it to the next level. He also said that it may be something that they would mandate Glasnow to throw more. Since that point, Glasnow has seen an improvement in both the amount he has thrown it and the success of the pitch.

Glasnow realizes the importance of having an off-speed pitch with the strong fastball that he possesses.

“I think that I just need to keep going out every fifth day and continue to throw my changeup, curveball, and off-speed stuff in hitters counts,” Glasnow said. “At the rate I’m going, I’m learning a lot right now, so hopefully everything will work out.”

Another aspect of the game that Glasnow has put an emphasis on is controlling the running game. After his promotion to Indianapolis last season, the tall right-hander saw runners stealing at will on him. Along with throwing the changeup more in recent games, Glasnow has also been throwing over to first abundantly more. He made no secret as to why.

“[Holding runners] has been a big emphasis,” Glasnow said. “I am working on the pick-off move and I am trying to be quicker to the plate and changing my looks. That is another thing that experience will teach me.”

In his six starts this season, teams have only attempted five steals against Glasnow, and three have been caught. Jacob Stallings has thrown well, but Glasnow’s hard work has also paid off.

Glasnow clearly has the fastball that is Major League ready. He also has the stuff that projects well at the next level. The only question is not if he will be ready, but when. With the past three outings and the success that he has seen with the off-speed pitches, Glasnow is nearing the point where he is prepared for the big league lights. And it is just in time for a potential call up in the next month or so.

  • Pirates need to trade to get Benedict back.

  • toddtjenks
    May 8, 2016 4:09 pm

    I read an article that they need to wait until June 11 to being them up. Will they both be ready at that time?

  • DrStrangeglove
    May 8, 2016 1:59 pm

    Does Glasnow need to improve the separation between his fastball and change before he is ready, and is that something that comes with repetition and practice, or will that require finding a different grip for the change?

    Also, is the speed of Glasnow’s fastball a bit less than what you thought it would be? I always saw that 96-97 at the lower levels and thought he would be a 98 mph guy at the major league level, or better. Does this affect how you view his ceiling?

    • Bill Harvey
      May 8, 2016 3:14 pm

      I’ll try to answer.

      Ideally, yes a bigger separation of the two is needed. However, Glasnow recently changed grips on his change-up, so with repetitions, you hope the separation comes.

  • I didn’t think we’d see TG until Sept, but now I’m thinking he might be up in, oh say, 5 weeks? 🙂

    We might have a hard time deciding between him and JT? Oh heck, just bring them both up. I’m sure that the Angels would give us a David Whitehead-like player for Niese. 🙂

    • Really not a hard choice. Nicasio would work well in the pen and upgrade that, and Locke was always a clear choice to either move to the pen or get moved elsewhere when these guys are ready.

      Better bullpen with Taillon and Glasnow in the rotation if they keep using all their stuff as effectively as they have.

      • I meant Niese not ‘him’ at the end of my post.

        I think Niese has to go.

        And, if both JT and TG come up, agree, move Juan to the ‘pen. And, trade Niese. He is as worthless, as I thought he would be.

        • Joshuatree
          May 8, 2016 1:14 pm

          I agree w most of what you’re saying except w the handling of Nicasio. Once TG OR JT come up, Juan will be the first to go bc of our NEED to upgrade the bullpen. The Pirates can’t afford to drag an 8 man bullpen into June or July. Fans are just gonna have to suck it up w Neise for now and Locke is a FO favorite like always so he makes it to the final 2. With our need for another LHP in the bullpen, Locke will get the nod till the trade deadline unless he shows he can hold it down.

        • Niese has the longest rope for me. Much superior track record as a starter, the Pirates are asking him to pitch differently and quality of contact is a fickle thing for pitchers.

      • Locke has pitched the best of our “little 3”, imo.

        • Im not advocating for Niese being fine here, but:

          Jeff Locke is a terrible gamble. Locke has pitched well about twice, and thats what he’ll do. 2 non awful games, surrounded by games where he’s walking 5 guys.

          Give me Locke and Nicasio replacing Lobstein and Vogelsong, because thats a big need. Niese has been bad, but it’ll take more than 5-6 starts to have me just trust Locke with the 5 and ignore his also large issues. While hoping Vogelsong can magically be of any use in the bullpen.

          • If you believe in the ever changing pitcher and looking at briefer intervals as outlined in Sullivan’s latest piece niese may be more of a concern than Locke.

            • Not really, the latest piece showed why Niese is a concern, not why Locke is suddenly more or less of what he was.

              Niese being a concern doesnt magically make Locke any different than what he was last year. Which is just as bad as Niese can be over SSS. Jeff Locke and Niese really arent different, we are just going off the most recent 3-5 games. In the case of Jeff Locke, history tells us why thats a scary gamble.

              • Niese has been over a 5 fip pitcher his last 100 innings. Locke hasn’t been that bad. Not a lot of reason to be hopeful with niese IMO. Not that there are with Locke either but I think it’s a very, very close call.

          • I’m interested in taking a longer look at Lobstein. I think he brings a completely different look to batters than anyone else on staff. I wouldn’t use him twice through a lineup, but I can see him working through all nine batters fairly consistently, at least with teams that haven’t seen him before.

            • FIP and xFIP over 4, cant throw 90 mph.

              Nothing about that scream ML arm. You cant walk 6, strike out 3, and actually see sustained success. He shouldnt be a ML arm, but rather AAAA depth only needed when you see serious injury issues.

        • Leefoo funny your the first one to complain about Glasnows walks and then you support the bumbling Locke who can;t ever find the plate and has a three year history of ineptitude. Why continue to support him? The reality is we have two pitchers in AAA that are way better then our bottom three in the majors. Since the division race is pretty much over I do not see the Bucs rushing them up at this point. This could cost us WC but our team is always looking to the future and I am sure that will never change.

    • Niese not ‘him’ at the end.

  • I am excited for the arms at Indy.

  • The make-up game in Colorado may force the issue with either TG or JT. I’m thinking JT comes up during the Mets series to start on June 7. That would be 67 days into the season, which should be very safe based on Super Two deadlines from the past 6-7 years. Glasnow would pitch in the Cards series that weekend.

  • Ray Searage can’t wait to have Glasnow and Taillon.

    • Neither can I, as the Bucs starting rotation is going to need improvement if we are going to have a chance at catching the Cubs, or even garnering one of the wild card berths.