Tyler Glasnow’s Season-Long Struggles Continue in 12-7 Loss

PITTSBURGH — After Tyler Glasnow’s appearance in the Pirates’ 12-7 loss to the Miami Marlins on Friday, he looked like a man who wasn’t sure where to turn next.

Glasnow had given up seven runs on 10 hits, including a ridiculous 449-foot home run by Giancarlo Stanton. He exited the game after the fourth inning with just one strike out, he never had a clean inning, and he never seemed to be able to do much more than find a lot of bat barrels.

Glasnow said after the game that he though the big issue was that his two-seam fastball was running back across the plate and into some barrels that he might otherwise miss.

“The two-seam was running in on barrels. I just have to fix it,” he said. “I think I need to keep on with the four-seam and that straight, truer life. I was pretty two-seam heavy today. I’ve just got to keep working on it.”

Catcher Jacob Stallings said that as the start went on, he tried to transition into some more four-seamers but that didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Glasnow threw them in almost equal proportions, with 26 two-seamers and 22 four-seamers. That’s a lot more two-seamers than he’s used most of this season.

But on the whole, it hasn’t really mattered that much. This year, his four-seamer has a 1.061 OPS against. His two-seamer has a 1.085 OPS. For good measure, his changeup has a 1.200 OPS against. Only his curveball (.633) has been an above-average offering.

Simply put, it doesn’t seem to matter which fastball Glasnow throws. He’s just not getting enough hitters out. Whether it’s a lack of deception, predictability or lack of movement, for some reason, Glasnow’s pitches have stopped getting swings and misses.

“There were no walks, which is a good thing,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “One strikeout. Not a lot of swings and misses. Not a lot of deception or late life. A lack of movement.”

Even during his troubling first year, Glasnow’s fastball (he threw almost all four-seamers then) got swinging strikes over 10 percent of the time. This year, his four-seamer is down to 4.8 percent and the two-seamer is at 3.4 percent.

Glasnow made some changes to his delivery this spring in order to get to the plate more quickly and cut down on his stolen bases. There could be something there that’s caused him to lose some of the stuff of his fastball.

But it doesn’t sound as if Glasnow has any quick answers, and with a 7.45 ERA and Jameson Taillon’s return nearing, it seems very likely that he’ll be finding those solutions in Indianapolis.

STALLINGS CHIPS IN

Stallings is a catcher that has derived a lot of his value in his career from his defense. But he’s hit the ball better for much of this season. After posting a career-low .602 OPS with Triple-A Indianapolis in 2016, he had a .687 mark when he was called up this season. That carried over into the majors on Friday, as he had two hits including a double to go 2-for-5. But even though his offense has improved, the reason Stallings is in the majors is his defense, and he wasn’t pleased about the 12 runs allowed or the throwing error he picked up in the fourth inning.

“Honestly, I was happier with last night’s game when I went 0 for 2 but threw up some zeroes for everybody,” he said. “I feel like I’ve grown offensively, but I’d like to put up a few more zeroes catching.”

INNING THE SAME, ROLE DIFFERENT

Tony Watson pitched the ninth inning, but it was far from a save situation. The Pirates were trailing, 12-5 when he entered. Watson threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a fly out and two ground outs. Hurdle was impressed with the way the changeup looked, particularly against righties Christian Colon and A.J. Ellis. They both hit the pitch weakly for outs.

“I saw good glove-side command with the fastball,” Hurdle said. “All three outs came off change-ups. It’s a different read. … He wanted the inning. He got the inning. I thought he was crisp.”

NOTES

Gregory Polanco went 0 for 4 with a walk and strikeout. He’s now 0 for his last 8 and 4-for-27 (.148) in the month of June. … Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 3 with two walks, but grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in the only plate appearance in which he failed to reach base. … Jose Osuna doubled and scored as a pinch hitter in the fourth. It was his first career extra-base pinch hit.

  • Million dollar arm and ten cent . . . approach. Off speed stuff will tell if he’s ever going to succeed in the bigs. Big fast balls fall out of the trees.

  • Thank goodness we didn’t trade him away and mortgage the future, so we can enjoy him today.

    • Chris Thomas
      June 10, 2017 11:06 am

      Man Huntington is going to regret saying that. Just checked and the guy the pirates were trading for, Quintana, has an era of 5.30. So maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t go hard after him.

      • The tg Brault Newman for Archer is the killer. It’s all a gamble the Quintana packs most likely included Bell or Meadows so there’s always a fine line to walk btw getting fleeced and swaping years of control for a proven commodity.

        • Chris Thomas
          June 10, 2017 11:18 am

          Wow, if the rays didn’t want meadow or bell included in an archery deal I’m not sure why they didn’t make that trade.

          • At the time Newman was hot and looked like an upgrade for Mercer. I’m also of the thinking that girding prospects comes from ownership explicitly or implicitly through budgets that leave no choice. The only way Quintana was going to happen was with assets from a Cutch trade no surprise the Nats cut out the middleman here.

            • Chris Thomas
              June 10, 2017 11:24 am

              If I’m not mistaken, Archer only had a couple years of control left?? If the f.o. didn’t really feel that they would compete in that time I guess it didn’t make sense to do the trade.

              • I believe the bucs were actually in a wc slot at the time or within a game or two. He maybe has one less year than Santana but multiple for sure.

              • Archer is signed to a long term deal for cheap. That’s why no one has acquired him to date.

        • Is that actual a true rumor?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    June 10, 2017 9:00 am

    Sadly, I have to say that Glasnow needs to be sent down to try to get his game and head together. He’s hurting the team and himself at this point. I still believe he will become a successful starter in the majors. I’d bring up Brault to replace him.

    • I thought I would signon and read he was already sent down. It’s a no brainer. All of these starts and really what, 1 or 2 starts that weren’t statistically bad? A 7.80 era in Mid May is one thing. But mid June? His mechanics are obviously messed up and need to be worked on. Let his mind take a break and go back down to Indy or Altoona and work on his changeup and mechanics without all the pressure.

  • Fire Hurdle and the GM whose name escapes me!

  • rickmontgomery
    June 10, 2017 7:58 am

    Time to focus on 2018. Santana and Schugel up. Glasnow and Neverauskas down. Stewart and Bastardo DFA’d. Stallings down when Cervelli returns (as backup, pending trade). Meadows up, Gosselin or Jaso gone (let Moroff have time to prove he belongs). Kuhl to pen and Brault up as starter. Rotation – Nova, Taillon, Cole, Williams and Brault. Not sure what to do about Polanco, maybe straight platoon with Osuna for a bit. Meadows plays LF every 3rd game or so, while Frazier gets a break or moves to INF so others can rest. On the trade block: Cole, Cutch, Vercelli, Glasnow (for the right deal), Jaso or Gosselin (which ever one is left), Watson, Freese (to make room for youth). Hurdle and Huntington fired so new gm and manager can guide rebuild.

    • rickmontgomery
      June 10, 2017 8:50 am

      That’s Cervelli! Not Vercelli! Damned autocorrect!

    • Meadows may get a slightly late call up because he is not exactly tearing it up the past week. There will be plenty of PT for him when Cutch gets dealt. I agree though. Osuna needs more ABs.

  • And Gerrit Cole’s struggles get forgotten for a few more days

  • It may be time to face the fact that Tyler Glasnow is just not good enough to get out a lineup of major league hitters. I really am not surprised that he has struggled, although I always thought that his high walk totals were going to be his undoing. If I were guessing, I would say Santana is taking his spot on the 25 man tomorrow, Schugel will take some phantom injured players spot, and Bastardo will be DFA’d. Just my guess.

  • If there is any doubt about who should go down when Taillon returns to the rotation, Glasnow now has removed all doubt. Glasnow’s erratic spring-training performance (and his brief stint in the majors at the end of 2016 ) demonstrated that he was not ready for the majors, yet The Best Management Team in Baseball was bound and determined to take him north out of ST against all evidence that Glasnow simply was not ready for the majors. It was a bad decision in March to put him on the 25 roster and a far worse decision to keep him there now.

    • Okay Dejan. It’s funny though everyone would have bitched if management sent him down, stating “they don’t want to win”. Because they keep their prospects down too long. No matter what they do people bitch, pretty simple.

      • Nope, bringing a guy up because he is cheaper than finding a bona fide big leaguer is a reason to bitch. So is bringing a guy up after he demonstrates he simply is not ready to be brought up.

  • Time to take Glasgow out of the rotation and send him down to Indy. I was all in favor of him in the rotation to begin the season, but he has not made any progress at all. Simply can’t afford to keep running him out there every fifth day.

  • Glasnow looks like he has absolutely no confidence at all, compare his demeanor with Taillon’s. Watching from Australia his stuff looked ordinary and it didn’t seem he was pitching aggressively at all. He may just not be ready to compete at the major league level.

    • What I’ve seen with him compares with any team’s long man or mopup guy.

  • During the game I got a text from my nephew who has played baseball his whole life and now plays in college. He wondered if Glasnow is tipping his pitches. I don’t recall that being discussed. A combination of that and a lack of movement would be lethal.

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