Tyler Glasnow Should Return to the Major Leagues

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 12: Tyler Glasnow
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 12: Tyler Glasnow /

Tyler Glasnow has earned a second opportunity at the Major League level

In a move that excited some Pirate fans while worrying some others, Tyler Glasnow made the team’s starting rotation out of Spring Training. Glasnow has spent the past few seasons dominating the minor leagues, despite control issues, while being arguably the top pitching prospect in all of baseball. This left him with seemingly nothing left to prove in the minors.

In his brief Major League time in 2016, Tyler Glasnow struggled with control. In 23 1/3 innings pitched he walked 13 batters (5.01 BB/9), he plunked a trio of batters, and uncorked a pair of wild pitches.

During his 12 starts earlier this season, his control issues remained. Tyler Glasnow averaged 4.80 BB/9 in 54 1/3 Major League innings pitched this season. He also hit a pair of batters and threw a pair of wild pitches. These control issues were a big reason why he owned a 7.45 ERA, 5.89 FIP, and was sent back to Triple-A in early June.

Since returning to Triple-A Tyler Glasnow has done what he has always done in the minor leagues, dominate. He has made 9 starts for the Indianapolis Indians this season and has pitched 55 2/3 innings. At Triple-A Glasnow has allowed 31 hits, 5 home runs, and has struck out 85 batters (13.74 K/9). His control has also improved to see him averaging 3.88 BB/9.

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During Glasnow’s past 5 starts his control has been even better. In 32 innings pitched in these 5 starts he is averaging just 3.08 BB/9. A big reason for this, according to Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett, has been a new found aggressiveness from Glasnow.

“When he pitches with confidence — he’s not thinking about balls and strikes — he’s just thinking about making pitches, the strikes take care of themselves and that’s what happened tonight,” Indianapolis’ pitching coach Stan Kyles said after Glasnow’s start this past Sunday.

This is a huge step in the right direction for Tyler Glasnow. One of Glasnow’s biggest issues in the Major Leagues was a lack of aggressiveness and confidence in his pitches. Even in the minor leagues, this got him in trouble at times. Now, it appears Glasnow has put that behind him.

Furthermore, Tyler Glasnow has also committed to pitching completely out of the stretch. While this has produced dominant results, he has also improved at controlling the opposing running game as a result.

As for creating a spot in the rotation for Glasnow, that is easy. He could very easily replace Jameson Taillon in the Pirates’ rotation. This is due to how badly Taillon has struggled his past two starts.

All season long Taillon has been the team’s best starting pitcher. However, his past two starts have been train wrecks. In 6 2/3 innings pitched he has allowed 18 runs on 20 hits while allowing line drives at an alarming 30.6 percent rate.

All signs point toward something being wrong with Jameson Taillon. Even if this is not the case, the young man has still been to hell and back this season. So, shutting him down for a few weeks to recharge can only do him good.

Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates still view Tyler Glasnow as a huge part of their future. However, it is time to let him sink or swim at the Major League level. He truly has nothing left to prove or accomplish in the minor leagues.

The 2017 Pirates are going nowhere, therefore, it is time to start playing for 2018. This means getting young pitchers such as Tyler Glasnow starts to try and find out if he can be counted on as part of the rotation equation in 2018.

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Tyler Glasnow has accomplished exactly what you want to see a young player accomplish after they’ve been optioned back to the minor leagues. He has gone down to Triple-A, worked to improve upon the areas where he was struggling, and he has dominated. He has earned another go around at the Major League level.