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Thursday, December 1, 2022

AFL: Tyler Glasnow Struggles With Command, Loses Shutout Streak

Tyler Glasnow took the mound for Scottsdale on Thursday afternoon, making his fifth start in the Arizona Fall League. Coming into the game, he had three straight appearances in which he threw three shutout innings. The Scorpions ended up winning 7-5 to move to 10-11 on the season. There are 11 games left and they trail first place Salt River by five games.

Glasnow walked the lead-off batter on a 3-2 pitch. He got the next hitter to line out to center field. Glasnow struck out the third place hitter swinging, allowing the runner to steal second base in the process. He ended the inning with another line drive to center field. Glasnow threw 16 pitches in the inning, eight for strikes.

In the second inning, Glasnow gave up another line drive to center field, this one falling in for a single. He walked the next batter on five pitches, then allowed an infield single on a bunt to load the bases. Glasnow got two outs on a double play ground ball, but that allowed the first run he has given up since his start on Opening Day. He limited the damage by getting the last batter to ground back to him for the third out. Glasnow threw 15 pitches in the second, eight for strikes.

The third inning started just like the previous frame, a line drive single to center field. The next hitter singled on a grounder into left field, putting men on first and second. Glasnow struck out the third hitter, then gave up a double steal on the next pitch. The fourth batter in the inning hit a fly ball to left field. The runner from third tagged up on the play and was gunned down at home, ending the inning. Glasnow showed better control in this inning, throwing eight of 12 pitches for strikes.

Glasnow pitched into the fourth inning for the first time in the AFL on Thursday. The lead-off batter got on base for the fourth time, singling on a line drive into left field. Glasnow got another line drive to left field, which was caught. The third hitter in the inning grounded out to third base, resulting in an out at second base. Glasnow then threw a wild pitch that advanced the runner to second base. That was followed by his third walk. The last base on balls ended his day. He threw a total of 54 pitches in the game, getting just 28 strikes. Both runners he left on base, came around to score on a double from the next hitter, saddling him with three earned runs. He gave up five hits and three walks in 3.2 innings.

Pirates Hitters Come Up Empty in Big Spots

In his first at-bat, with a runner on first and his team up 2-0 in the first inning, Josh Bell hit a soft line drive to right field for the second out. He came up again with a runner on first and ended the third inning with a soft grounder to first base. Scottsdale broke the game open in the fourth and Bell came up with a man on first and a 7-1 lead. His recent hitting woes continued with a strikeout to end the inning. In the seventh, Bell came up with two runs on and flew out to center field on the first pitch. On defense, he had just three chances and left the game for a defensive replacement in the eighth inning.

Dan Gamache came up with two runners on base and made the third out of the first inning, grounding out to first base. He had a runner on second during his next trip to the plate, which ended in a fly ball to right field. In the fifth inning, he had a runner on first with no outs, when he lined out to left field. Gamache led off the eighth with a ground out to first base.

Elias Diaz led off the second inning with an eight pitch at-bat that ended with a soft tapper in front of the plate for the first out. He walked his next time up, seeing a total of seven pitches. Diaz came around to score two batters later. In the fifth inning, he swung at the first pitch and grounded into a double play. Diaz grounded out to second base in the eighth inning. On defense, he was 0-for-4 in throwing out runners.

Scottsdale will be on the MLB Network Friday night with Joely Rodriguez making the start against first place Salt River. The game begins at 3:35 PM EST, but will be shown on tape delay at 7:00 PM.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


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“Glasnow struggles with control” should not be a surprising headline. He has terrible control. H ewalked 4.13 batters per 9 innings at high-A as a 20 – 21 year old, and 4.93 in A ball last year. He tries to strike every batter out, and his refusal to allow contact results in him walking everybody.
Glasnow’s excellent overall numbers in a and high-A were largely a result of extremely low BABIPs (.215 and .260). Those BABIP numbers are unsustainable, so as he moves up his BABIP allowed will move closer to .300. If he keeps walking everybody, his performance will decline sharply.
Glasnow should consider not trying to throw every pitch 100 mph. If he could throw 94 mph with better control, he might be a better prospect. But as it stands, Glasnow seems most likely to wind up as a late-inning reliever. He could have a good career, but he seems likely to have a lot of fluctuation as a closer with poor command and a lot of strikeouts.

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