Pirates Notebook: Tyler Glasnow’s Next Appearance Will Be Out of the Bullpen

PITTSBURGH — Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is keeping things series-to-series when it comes to his starting rotation, but he did lay out some future plans for Tyler Glasnow.

Glasnow lasted just 2.2 innings in his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Sept. 13. His presence gives the Pirates seven players currently stretched out as starting pitchers, which makes it tough to give them all playing time.

As a result, Glasnow’s next opportunity will come out of the bullpen, as he’ll pitch behind Steven Brault on Wednesday.

“It’ll be a clean inning,” Hurdle said. “If Brault pitches five innings, there may be separation right here and then Glasnow will follow him up.”

In Glasnow’s major-league career, he’s pitched 17 times as a starter and three times as a reliever. It’s a small sample, but his numbers are much better in relief. He has a .667 OPS against out of the bullpen vs. a .974 OPS against as a starter. His ERA is 2.57 in relief and 7.24 while starting.

With the Pirates having all seven starters under team control for 2018, some of them might end up in the bullpen. But General manager Neal Huntington said earlier in the month that they didn’t anticipate making any permanent moves to the bullpen now, citing what Trevor Williams has done as an advantage to keeping a player a starter as long as possible, even if he ends up in the bullpen.

So, the Pirates are hoping to get Glasnow another start at some point, especially considering the fact that he was badly squeezed by the home plate umpire his last time out. But that won’t be easy, given the number of arms involved.

“With two off days and seven starters, it’s a little bit of a challenge right now,” Hurdle said. “We’ll look for an opportunity to present itself. But we are wanting to get him the ball on the mound again. There was some good stuff to hunt. We want to hand it to him one more time and see what he can do with a clean start.”

MARTE QUESTIONABLE

Starling Marte (finger, left shoulder) is not in the starting lineup, though Hurdle was hopeful that he would be available to be used in a bench role.

STARTING LINEUP

TOUGH TIME FOR TAILLON

Jameson Taillon has had 11 days off since his last start. It wasn’t a good one, as he allowed six runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings against Chicago on Sept. 7.

His ERA has risen from 2.73 at the All-Star break to 4.78, mostly thanks to an inflated batting average on balls in play. His BABIP for the season is .363, much higher than MLB average, which is typically around .300.

Since then, he’s had a .405 BABIP. His FIP, which normalizes for BABIP, is 3.45 for the second half. That’s better than the 3.51 he posted in the first half.

  • Sounds like they have given up on Glasnow as a starter for this year. Brault was supposed to be working out of the bullpen, not Glasnow.

  • With the exception of few hot months from individual players, offense has been way below average and I don’t see how or why it would improve next season.

    They’ve been allergic to RISP since the first month and I think it’s the new norm. So many fundamental baserunning errors too.

    I like our pitchers but this offense makes me question next season.

    • They will have a legit third basemen…whether that is Kang or someone from FA or Osuna. Other than at 3rd, I don’t see an upgrade happening other than hope that Marte gets better, Polanco gets better, Cutch is the Cutch of old and Bell keeps progressing. Boy that’s a lot of hopes.

      • I really don’t understand why so many people want Osuna to play third. Has anyone in the “Osuna should play 3rd” camp ever seen him run the bases or try to move in the outfield? You really expect him to get down in time for grounders that are smoked or to field anything more than 4 feet away from him?

        • yea I do…being he was touted as the best defensive first basemen in the Pirates system. That tells me he can cover the lines and field grounders.

    • In my opinion, the biggest internal improvements for the offense next season would be to utilize a Polanco/Luplow platoon and to let Moroff play second and shift JHay to third. At best that’s an incremental improvement. Can we start a kickstarter fund to help Nutting raise money to sign JD Martinez?

  • 10-25 since beating the Blue Jays. I hope they can get their act together in the off season and figure some things out. This is a very, very low period. I have no idea what philosophy, what measures, what anything they are attempting to accomplish since July 31. I was so pumped for meaningful baseball on July 31. I didn’t think we had a good shot to win but I thought we would play near .500 and perhaps, perhaps, maybe catch fire. Man was I wrong! It is not all on management-have no idea what Marte was doing this year with is post suspension OPS + of 73. McCutchen? Horrendous disappearance when games still meant something. Pitching bottomed out, we decided we were Nicasio’s agent and not his employer. Just can’t figure out the modus operandi…But I do not hear clear leadership anymore. The bottom has fallen out and I don’t hear Hurdle or NH acknowledging there is a problem.

  • Thank goodness we’ve got Freese and S-Rod in the line-up…getting more playoff time for Frazier and Moroff is too risky when the post-season is on the line.

  • Can they be more stupid? Making Glasnow pitch out of the pen makes little to no sense. His value is as a starter. All this does is reduce his value to other GMs. However, Hurdle who knows nothing knows best.

    • My guess is they want to set him up in a definable situation to boost his confidence. “You’re going in for one inning” might be better for his confidence than “You’re going in for as long as you can pitch well”.

      …just a guess though.

    • I think it’s a good idea. Gives him a chance to work on something very specific against Major League hitters, takes the pressure of keeping pitch count down and going deep into the ballgame off and lets him just focus on figuring out how to get outs in the Majors.

      Having him throw out of the ‘pen late this season doesn’t mean they’re giving up on him as a starter. It means they’re trying to find ways to get as many of these young arms innings as possible.

    • Totally disagree. TG needs confidence to succeed at MLB level, and pitching out of bullpen very well may be best recipe for him to succeed in short-term. Worked for Carlos Carrasco of Indians, just to name one of many.

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