On Thursday afternoon in the Arizona Fall League Tyler Glasnow took the mound for Scottsdale, making his sixth start of the season. All three Pittsburgh Pirates hitters were in the lineup, as the Scorpions took on Peoria. Scottsdale lost 5-3, dropping them to 10-16 on the year. There are six games left in the AFL season, so Glasnow should see one more start.
Tyler Glasnow began the first inning with two fly balls to right field for the first two outs. He got the third out on a grounder to third base. He threw 11 pitches in the inning, six for strikes. Peoria has PITCHf/x available and Glasnow threw ten fastballs in the inning, sitting 94-96 MPH. He also threw one 80 MPH curve for a ball.
In the second inning, Glasnow gave up a lead-off single. He got out of the inning quickly, getting a fly ball to center field, followed by a 3-6-1 double play started by Josh Bell. Glasnow needed just nine pitches in the inning and after two inning, he had thrown ten strikes and ten balls. All nine pitches he threw were fastballs sitting 93-95 MPH.
In the third inning, Glasnow started using more of his pitches. He got a swinging strikeout on a curve to start the inning, then allowed a triple. He picked up another strikeout swinging on a curve and threw his first change-up of the game during the third at-bat of the inning. Glasnow ended the inning with a fly ball to right field. His fastball was 93-96 MPH and the curve was 77-80. He threw 16 pitches, nine for strikes and eight were curves, with just the one change-up.
Glasnow gave up two runs in the fourth inning, throwing a total of 19 pitches in the frame. He allowed a lead-off walk, then gave up a double that scored the first run. The next batter reached on a fielder’s choice on a ball hit back to Glasnow. He then got a strikeout swinging on a curve before giving up a sacrifice fly that brought home the second run. The next batter popped out to second base to end the inning. He threw 12 fastballs and seven curves and just like in his last game, Glasnow saw a dip in his velocity in the fourth, hitting 91-92 with a few of the slower pitches.
His final line was two runs on three hits and a walk in four innings. He had three strikeouts, all of them coming on curves and in all of the at-bats, the batter went down swinging. Glasnow threw 55 pitches total, 30 for strikes. This outing was disappointing in the sense that the AFL seemed like it was going to be a chance for Glasnow to work on his change-up and he rarely breaks out his third pitch. In the four games I’ve seen data for, he has gone to the pitch 5-6 times total. You need a third pitch to be successful as a starter at the upper levels and need the confidence and ability to throw it in any situation. The velocity dip and control issues(when you’re throwing 69% fastballs) are minor concerns this late in the season, especially since he is well ahead of his inning total from last year. He still flashed two plus pitches early and he has had some outstanding starts in the AFL. So the only real concern at this point should be his lack of change-ups each game, because this is when he should be working on the pitch.
As for the Pirates in the lineup, Josh Bell walked to lead-off the second inning. He drew three walks on Tuesday and had two hits on Wednesday. Bell stole second base, then scored the first run for Scottsdale. Leading off the fourth inning, he struck out swinging. In the sixth, he popped out to shortstop. In his last plate appearance, he singled on a line drive to center field. His average is sitting at .227, but he is getting on base at a decent clip recently. He also reached base four times during the Fall-Stars game on Saturday. On defense, he handled all eight plays cleanly, including a pop up, a ground ball in the the seventh and the double play he started in the second inning.
Dan Gamache drove in the first run for Scottsdale, scoring Bell on a sacrifice fly in the second. In the fourth, he grounded out with a runner on first, resulting in an out at second base. Gamache flew out to center field in the seventh. He finished with a ground out to shortstop, ending his day 0-for-3 with an RBI. He is hitting .180 in 50 at-bats.
In the third inning, Elias Diaz lined out to third base. He was batting ninth in the lineup and catching his second game this week. In the fifth inning, Diaz grounded into a double play. He came up with a big hit in the seventh inning, driving in two runs on a triple that deflected off the center fielder’s glove. Diaz struck out to end the game.
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.