Tyler Glasnow needs to be in the Opening Day bullpen

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 7: Tyler Glasnow
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 7: Tyler Glasnow /
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It is time for Tyler Glasnow to transition to being a relief pitcher

For some time now, right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow has been one of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top prospects. In fact, Glasnow has been a top-100 prospect since 2014 and some publications have even ranked him as a top-10 prospect in all of baseball.

Unfortunately for Tyler Glasnow and the Pirates, his Major League time has not gone well. Throughout his minor league career Glasnow struggled with control and that has plagued him throughout his Major League outings the past two seasons.

In 22 Major League games, 17 starts, Glasnow has pitched 85 1/3 innings. Glasnow has been a mess in these innings allowing 103 hits, 15 home runs, and he has averaged 6.01 BB/9. He has gotten hammered to the tune of allowing hard contact 30.6 percent of the time and his groundball rate is just 44.3 percent.

All of this has led to Glasnow posting a 7.69 ERA, 6.30 FIP, and a 5.64 xFIP during his Major Leauge time.

What would appear to be the best approach for Tyler Glasnow in 2018 would be for him to start the season in the rotation at Triple-A. The problem with this is that Glasnow has nothing left to prove or gain from pitching at Triple-A, so having him start in Indy’s rotation would be a fruitless exercise.

Tyler Glasnow has dominated the Triple-A level. After averaging 10.82 K/9 and posting 2.92 FIP at Triple-A in 2016, he averaged 13.50 K/9 to go along with a 2.23 FIP in 2017. As was said above, he has nothing to gain from continuing to pitch at Triple-A.

In theory, a move to the bullpen is one that would benefit Glasnow. It would allow him to be more of the pitcher that just reared back and fired away that he was in the minor leagues and it should also help with his control.

As Dave wrote about earlier this off-season, the Pirates looking to turn Tyler Glasnow into Archie Bradley is something they should entertain. Dave also wrote about how the Pirates need to go bullpening in 2018. In order for both of these things to take place, Glasnow needs to be in the Opening Day bullpen.

Tyler Glasnow has the makeup of being a dominant back of the bullpen arm. If that is what he turns into at this point in his career that is perfectly fine, as pitchers like that can help a team win a lot of baseball games. Glasnow needs to transition into being a relief pitcher and that transition needs to begin when the 2018 regular season does.

At this point in his career Tyler Glasnow needs to try and work through his issues at the Major League level. This is what the Pirates attempted to go for last season when Glasnow began the season in the team’s starting rotation despite a shaky spring.

Tyler Glasnow still needs to be at the Major League level facing Big League hitters. However, he needs to be doing it in a different fashion. This is why Glasnow needs to start the 2018 season in the Pirate bullpen.