The big news out of today is the time has come for Tyler Glasnow to come up and make his Major League debut for the Pirates. Glasnow is reported to be coming up tomorrow afternoon to start against the Cardinals in the final game of a four-game series.
All of the talk about of the super 2 debate and that Glasnow should be up by now is all over. We now know the date he’ll be here—July 7. He’ll be the 11th pitcher to start a game for the Bucs this season and the 5th starting pitcher to make his ML debut this season with Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, Wilfredo Boscan and Steven Brault doing it before him.
Here’s the year Glasnow was having at Triple-A Indianapolis this season: 7-2, 1.78 ERA, only 57 hits in 96 innings, four home runs, 52 walks and an eye-popping 113 strikeouts. That’s a 10.6 strikeout per nine innings. His swing-and-miss stuff is incredible and could be the best we’ve seen out of a Pirates prospect in a long time. If he struggles, it’s because of his control. He’s walking 4.9 batters per nine innings and has walked 4.3 per nine in his minor league career. That has to get better if he’s going to the projected ace for Pittsburgh. His last start in Indy last Saturday was an improvement with eight strikeouts and just one walk in 6.0 innings of work.
Glasnow was a 5th round choice in the 2011 MLB draft and is ranked as the Pirates No. 1 prospect this spring and overall MLB’s No. 8 top prospect. In his entire minor league career, Glasnow owns a 2.01 ERA (479 IP/107 ER) with an impressive 11.5 K/9 and a not so impressive 4.9 BB/9.
I have no idea what to expect from a Glasnow start tomorrow. With a high strikeout and walk rate, he could be up to 90 pitches after just three of four innings. Let’s hope that’s not the case, but you know the Cardinals will make him work for each at-bat with his control problem. He also could strike out 12 in the first five innings and be done because his pitch count is shot.
The rotation is crowded and murky with the announcement of Glasnow’s debut coming tomorrow. Gerrit Cole will be off the DL soon, maybe Sunday for the last game before the All-Star break, but either way the Pirates have some decisions coming as to whether Glasnow stays in this rotation right now and I think his performance tomorrow will decide that one way or the other. Meanwhile you have an underperforming Jon Niese and Francisco Liriano in the rotation while Niese is dealing with a knee problem that could affect whether he makes his scheduled start Sunday.
Either way, get ready for Glasnow’s highly-anticipated debut that will finally arrive tomorrow afternoon at 1:45.