Tyler Glasnow is one step closer to Pittsburgh
On Saturday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Detroit Tigers by a score of 5-4. Tyler Glasnow started for the Pirates and put together his second consecutive start. It is possible he has become the guy to beat for the final spot in the Pirate rotation.
At this point there is not much more Tyler Glasnow can do to win a spot in the Pirate rotation. His past two starts he has thrown quality strikes with consistency which the Pirates have wanted to see for the past year. Furthermore, Drew Hutchison has been abysmal his past two starts.
Glasnow pitched four innings on Saturday. In these four innings pitched he allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts. All three runs he allowed came on a three-run home run in the third inning.
All three runs he allowed came on a three-run home run in the third inning. However, the two men on base should not have been there. Brendan Ryan reached base on a Philip Gosselin error to start the inning. Then, Andrew Romine collected a ground ball single that would have been an out if Jordy Mercer was at shortstop instead of Adam Frazier.
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Tyler Collins then hit a three-run home run. The home run by Collins and Ryan reaching via error were the only hard contact Glasnow allowed all game. Glasnow was also robbed of a 1-2-3 fourth inning due to Adam Frazier butchering a routine ground ball to shortstop.
Glasnow’s control was not great on Saturday, but it was good enough for him to be successful with his stuff. In Saturday’s game, he threw a first-pitch strike to 14 out of 19 batters faced but missed his spots too often. But when a pitcher has Glasnow’s stuff, they can get away with missing your spots more than most pitchers can.
Additionally, Tyler Glasnow’s curve ball was absolutely filthy on Saturday. Detroit hitters did not have a prayer against it and he controlled it extremely well. Not only did he generate swings and misses on it, but he was also able to throw it for strikes.
His velocity on Saturday was a great sign as well. He sat in the mid-90s, and hit 97 MPH on more than one occasion. Many times Detroit hitters were way behind and totally helpless against his fastball.
The one knock on Glasnow’s performance Saturday was his pitch count. He was scheduled to go five innings, however, due to throwing over 80 pitches through four innings he only last four innings. This was not completely Glasnow’s doing, though.
As was discussed above, he got some very shoddy defense from the left side of his infield. This led to him throwing, at least, 10-15 pitches he otherwise would not have. If the Pirates’ regular left side of the infield, David Freese and Jordy Mercer, were playing Glasnow would have gone five innings.
In 16 2/3 innings pitched this spring Tyler Glasnow has now allowed tow home runs, he has walked six batters, he has not hit any batters, and he has struck out 23 batters. This gives him a very strong 2.30 FIP this spring. While this is a very small sample size, it is still an encouraging sign from Glasnow. It is time for him to be in the Pirates’ starting rotation.
There is nothing more Tyler Glasnow can do to earn a spot in the Pirate rotation to start the season. After hitting a rough three-start stretch, he has bounced back with consecutive strong starts. Additionally, Drew Hutchison has been miserable his last two starts.
If Tyler Glasnow is not in the Pirate rotation to start the season, then he never had a chance to make the team out of spring to begin with. He has earned the fifth rotation spot.