INDIANAPOLIS –– The Pirates put Tyler Glasnow on the fast track, promoting him to Indianapolis on August 1st, after just 63 innings with Altoona.
While those 63 innings were impressive, they did not carry over well to Indianapolis following the promotion. Glasnow’s stuff just did not look the same. He was walking more hitters, allowing more hits than usual and he was left looking for answers much of the time.
This continued in his final start of the season on Thursday night in the International League Governors’ Cup finals. In the contest, Glasnow did not show the ability to command either the curveball or change. This led to hitters sitting on the fastball and hammering it to the tone of three solo home runs. Prior to Thursday, he never allowed more than two homers in a game as a pro.
However, Glasnow welcomes the adversity and looks to use it moving forward into the off-season.
“I think that [in the final start], the breaking ball was bad the entire game,” Glasnow said. “I had to go out there and fight. I think this whole theme of Triple-A is that I have not been feeling very good at all. I have learned how to not have my best stuff and go out and battle innings instead of knowing that it’s not good and giving up. It has been a good learning experience for me.”
When his stuff isn’t there, the right-hander knows that contact will follow. However, he is pleased with how he responded in these situations.
“When the feel isn’t there, the velo isn’t there, and the breaking stuff is not crisp, stuff is going to get hit, so just try to keep my head up and not think about it,” Glasnow said. “I think that I have done a decent job of that.”
Glasnow’s hit rate was higher in Triple-A, and his walk rate was one of the highest rates of his career. This was highlighted in a start on September 1st when Glasnow retired just one hitter and allowed five walks and six runs. That may skew that number a bit, although Glasnow’s command was not strong at the level.
After throwing 111 pitches in his final start, 68 for strikes, Glasnow was adamant that his arm and body felt good. Just as he has been before and after every start with Indianapolis.
Glasnow attributes the issues to trying to be too fine and not having his best stuff. While he traveled to instructionals right after the Indianapolis season ended on Saturday, he looked forward to stepping away for a bit afterwards and clearing out all of the noise to gear up for 2016.
“I am going to [instructionals],” Glasnow said after Thursday’s start. “I think I will be going the whole time, I think it’s like a month this year. It has already started, so I will probably only be there for two or three weeks. I am going to go and get all of that stuff out of my head, get the mechanics down, and have something comfortable that I can go back to. Then, I am going to the off-season and not think about baseball for a little while and focus on doing well next season.”
Glasnow should return to Indianapolis at the start of the 2016 season. He’s unlikely to arrive in Pittsburgh before mid-season, and will need to show better control numbers and better command of his stuff before he’s ready for the majors. He’s still got the upside of a top of the rotation starter, but at this point he wouldn’t be close to that upside in the majors.