Huntington: Pirates Will Wait and Evaluate Tyler Glasnow and Chad Kuhl

PITTSBURGH – There was no real update on Tyler Glasnow this morning from Clint Hurdle, and Pirates’ General Manager Neal Huntington didn’t have much else to add in his weekly meeting with the media, including our own Alan Saunders. Right now, the Pirates are waiting to see how Glasnow’s shoulder feels.

“It’s till early,” Huntington said. “He’s seeing our doctor today and we’ll have much more information once we see how he feels today. We feel like we caught it early, that’s always good. We still don’t have a ton of information at this point in time.”

Glasnow didn’t blame the injury on his poor command yesterday, but Huntington noted that the discomfort didn’t come on just one pitch, but was with him the entire outing, possibly leading to his struggles.

“I don’t think it was [just] one pitch that he felt it on,” Huntington said. “To his credit, he’s trying to not let it be an excuse. He was trying to go out and put his team in a position to win the game. He didn’t do that. Give the young man credit, he tried not to use it an excuse. At the same time, realistically, I don’t think he felt it on one pitch. He tried to battle through it. It showed with the fact that he couldn’t spin his breaking ball at anywhere near the level he spun it at the minor-league level, his velocity came and went, he didn’t command the baseball anywhere near the way he has in the past, he lost a few pitches, unfortunately, so we do think that it was probably in his mind and in his shoulder at some point. We don’t quite know exactly when. But give him credit, he wants to own it. He wants to own that he didn’t have a very good outing.”

Huntington said that the Pirates are going to be conservative with Glasnow, hoping that he can be ready on day 16 after his trip to the DL, but willing to give him more time if he needs it. The goal is to get him back “healthy and effective.”

Huntington said that one big takeaway for Glasnow was speaking up sooner about an issue that was affecting him throughout his start.

“It’s a great learning experience for him about communication, about what he should and shouldn’t do, about what he can and can’t do,” Huntington said. “That’s a part of if with every young player, especially with young pitchers. … Young players have a sense of invincibility. The only way we can help players get stronger, the only way we can help players differentiate between normal stiffness and normal soreness from something that may develop into something larger, the only way we can nip something in the bud, is to know about it.”

Huntington noted that Glasnow isn’t the first young player to try and work through an injury or discomfort, and won’t be the last. As for Glasnow’s upside, we haven’t seen him come close to that yet in the big leagues. The Pirates are still being patient with him, and could return him to the minors if they feel he does need more time when he returns from his DL trip.

“We’ve got some growing pains to go through,” Huntington said. “We’re looking forward to what he can become. It’ll take some time. He may need some more time in the minor leagues. But we’ll continue to help him grow and develop.”

No Update on Chad Kuhl

Neal Huntington didn’t have an update on Chad Kuhl’s progress today. Kuhl left yesterday’s game after the first inning with right triceps discomfort. Huntington noted that they’re currently waiting things out and evaluating Kuhl’s injury.

“Much like Tyler, it’s still early,” Huntington said. “We want to see how he responds when he gets in today and how it responds to treatment over the next couple of days. It was an awkward throw on a ball that he fielded and he felt it. Again, our staff was aggressive in getting him out of the game to see where he is and how he feels today. At this point, we don’t have any updates. We’re hoping it’s shorter term than longer term.”

Brian Peloza had an update from Indianapolis today, with Dean Treanor hopeful that Kuhl won’t miss much time at all.

Other Notes

**Huntington was asked whether the Pirates had the pitching depth for a six man rotation, or to rotate guys in and out of the rotation the rest of the year.

“On Friday, we did,” Huntington said. “Potentially losing Kuhl and Glasnow for a little bit of time, it comes back to my favorite saying, the game of pitching is a game of attrition. That’s why we’ll work hard to acquire pitching. We’ll work hard to protect our young pitching.”

The Pirates still have the possibility of a four-man rotation the next few weeks, since they have so many off days. They don’t need a fifth starter until August 6th. They also still have enough pitching depth that they could turn to one of their Triple-A starters for a spot start, if needed, in order to give someone in the rotation a break.

**Ryan Vogelsong left his rehab start early the last time out with neck pain. The Pirates wanted to extend him up to 90-95 pitches so that he could be an option for the rotation, leaving a multi-inning role out of the bullpen as a fallback plan. He only got to the 65-70 pitch range, which means they will continue his buildup in another rehab start.

“Our goal is to get him back out at least one more start and see what we’ve got from there,” Huntington said.

Vogelsong didn’t seem like a possibility for the rotation prior to the injuries to Glasnow and Kuhl. After those injuries, he might have a shot at a start, but the Pirates still have some good, young options available in Steven Brault and Trevor Williams who can compete with him.

  • Duncan’s 7 days are up. What is his status?

  • On August 6, they will need the regular 5 starters, which means the pen gets reduced to 7. Who gets jettisoned?
    – Melancon, Watson, Feliz, and (I assume) Nicasio will stay
    – Camineiro and Hughes probably both stay but aren’t locks
    – Locke, Niese, and Vogelsong – probably only one or max two of these guys stay

  • I’d really like to see Brault and Williams over Vogelsong

  • Scott Kliesen
    July 24, 2016 9:11 pm


    We report, you decide.

    -Pirates Prospects

  • Sometimes a lack of news is good news in that “it’s too soon to tell” is about the best one can hope for.

  • Speaking of recovering from injuries, was anyone else really impressed by Diaz today? He has a bigger physical presence than I would have guessed at bat, I loved his aggressiveness on the Ruiz pick off, and he even showed fire in the belly after Watson ended the 8th with a K. Good stuff

    • Great post, I think P2 is slightly underrating him as they feel he is a #2 catcher….I think he will surprise folks and be a very competent starter….Whether it’s for the Pirates or for some other team. His arm jumps out and his bat is a bit more advanced than I expected. He puts the ball into play and with authority…Small sample, but he has done that pretty consistently in the minors.

      • The funny thing about this post is that we’ve been accused of overrating him by saying he could be a starter. We said he would be a good replacement for Cervelli before the extension and before his injuries this year. I wrote many times this spring that he looks like the next Martin/Cervelli — strong defense that will justify him being a starter, and the bat looks much better than the stats so far in person, with the chance to surprise.

        • Well said, Tim….I’m just saying this kid has the potential (celling) to be a very good MLB catcher….His arm is better than any catcher I’ve seen in the past 20 years in the system…With his patience at the dish, combined with the ball jumping off his bat, we very well may have something special, again very SSS, but he has been doing this the past couple years….I think his peak can be a bit higher than PP gives him credit. Just me, but he is light years ahead of McGuire.

          • I think he can be a starter, and his arm is fantastic.

            Don’t count out McGuire, though. He’s only 21 this year. When Diaz was in his age 21 season, he put up a .549 OPS in West Virginia in his second run through the league. He showed offensive potential, but didn’t start putting up good numbers until the second half of 2013 in Bradenton, at age 22. Then he broke out at age 23 in Altoona.

            Meanwhile, McGuire is showing good hitting tools, but a lack of consistency at age 21 in Altoona. He could spend two more years at the level, break out at age 23, and be at the same place Diaz was at, all at the same age.

            Also, McGuire’s arm is fantastic. Quickest release of anyone in the system (he goes from receiving the ball in a crouch to firing down to second from his feet in a single fluid movement), and his arm strength is so good that he can fire perfect strikes down to second from his knees.

            The Pirates have two very good catching prospects here.

            • Honest question? You certainly know better than me….Who is the better defensive C, McGuire or Diaz? Diaz checks every box as far as a defensive catcher goes, he frames very well, seems to call a good game, makes the pitcher feel comfortable and the arm is top shelf….Is McGuire on the same level, or is his celling on par, or better than Diaz? if so, then, then the Pirates have leverage on the rest of the league…Premium catching is a rare.

              • Before the season, both players were picked as the best defensive catcher in the minors by different outlets. I think BA picked McGuire, and picked Diaz. I think McGuire is ahead of Diaz, but it’s splitting hairs. They’re two of the best defensive catchers in the minors, however you look at it.

            • I’m thinking that Diaz or McGuire will be dangled as trade bait. If NH decides to pursue a pitching option this season either will be used for working on a deal.

    • I’d like to see a bit better game calling is the only negative I saw.

      Maybe Searage is calling that game, but they seemed unwilling to come inside while multiple outside balls were pulled hard. Taillon really didnt throw inside for strikes and thats just odd for a PGH arm.

  • It’s Ryan so get used to it!