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.”
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.
Gm 151: ☠ (68-82) vs. 🍺(79-70)
Jamo 4.78 vs Brent Suter 3.66
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) September 18, 2017
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.