There’s nothing that Tyler Glasnow can do right now to make it to the majors. The Pirates have made it clear that he won’t be in their plans in September. I wrote at the start of the month why that makes total sense, pointing out a variety of reasons why he needs to stay down. There have been people who disagreed with the stance, but I’ve yet to see a good argument about why Glasnow should be up. Every counter argument I’ve seen has looked at the idea of Glasnow, or what he projects to become in the future, rather than looking at where he’s at now with his development.
His playoff start for Indianapolis won’t do anything to change the minds of the organization on bringing him up. But a good performance could give some hope for one of the areas of concern for Glasnow: The Big Game.
This will be the third year in a row that Glasnow has pitched in the post-season. He pitched for West Virginia in 2013 and pitched for Bradenton last year. Neither outing went well.
In 2013, Glasnow went 2.2 innings, giving up four runs on three hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. Last year he gave up six runs on two hits and six walks over three innings, with eight strikeouts. This was despite the fact that he was spotted a 7-3 lead after the second inning.
Tomorrow would be a good opportunity for Glasnow to show that he can handle the playoff outings. I have no doubts about his ability to do so in the future, but this has been an issue so far in his young career. I’d chalk that up to nerves more than anything else. Glasnow has been known to let that impact him early in outings, especially in bigger starts, or when he’s adjusting to a new level. That’s a big reason why I wrote that people were dreaming if they expected him to arrive in the majors and have no issues at all right now.
I’m not going to say that Glasnow can’t pitch in big games because of two games over the last two years in the playoffs. I’m also not going to say that he’s ready based on one start if he does well tomorrow. But doing well in the Triple-A playoffs will be a good sign, not just for his ability to pitch in big games, but for his continuation of success from his last outing. It won’t get him to the majors this year, but could add some comfort for when he’s in the majors next year.