Glasnow is tabbed as a potential future ace of the Rays' staff by team beat writer Juan Toribio, Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports. Glasnow was once considered the top prospect in the Pirates' organization, and his performance in an injury-shortened 2019 served as a tangible reminder of why. The towering right-hander posted a 1.78 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 76:14 K:BB across 12 starts and followed it up with a pair of scoreless appearances in Grapefruit League action this spring before play was suspended. Naturally, southpaw Blake Snell is also considered top-of-the-rotation material for the Rays, but Toribio notes Glasnow was arguably the AL's best pitcher over the first six weeks of last season and could ultimately be the team's most effective arm over the long term if he remains healthy.
Glasnow threw 50 pitches across three innings in a simulated game Tuesday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. Glasnow worked with Mike Zunino as a battery mate and faced Nate Lowe, Kevan Smith and Daniel Robertson during his three frames. The right-hander threw 27 pitches for strikes in what would turn out to be his final tune-up for the regular season now that the remainder of spring training has been cancelled due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus. Glasnow finished Grapefruit League play with 2.2 scoreless innings during which he allowed three hits and posted a 5:1 K:BB across a pair of starts.
Glasnow started Thursday's Grapefruit League split-squad win over the Tigers, firing a scoreless first inning during which he allowed a hit and a walk while recording two strikeouts. Manager Kevin Cash came away impressed with his young right-hander's performance, particularly the command Glasnow displayed with his fastball. Marc Topkin and Mari Faiello of the Tampa Bay Times report the only other pitch the 26-year-old utilized Thursday was the curveball, as Glasnow stayed away from both his changeup and splitter across his 19 pitches. The hurler was pleased with his performance on the mound, which incorporated the slight tweaks to his delivery he's been working on this offseason. Glasnow will have a chance to stretch out to multiple innings in his next start, which is likely to come in the early portion of next week.
Glasnow impressed in his first time facing live hitters Wednesday, a session during which he threw 25 pitches, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. "He's worked hard," said manager Kevin Cash. "I was impressed. The effort level was good but it also was under control. You could tell by the way he was throwing so many strikes and his misses were just, just misses. You could tell by the hitters reactions that the stuff was coming out really, really hot." Glasnow mostly threw four-seam fastballs while facing Joey Wendle, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Hunter Renfroe during the session, but he also included a couple of changeups. Glasnow had reportedly decided to eliminate the pitch this coming season due to discomfort when throwing it, but after tweaking his mechanics this offseason, the right-hander is ready to deploy it once again. Glasnow has also been working on a splitter, and although he didn't utilize the pitch Wednesday, there appears to be a strong chance Glasnow enters the regular season with a four-pitch arsenal that also includes his four-seamer and curveball.
Glasnow (wrist) has scrapped his changeup and has been working on a splitter as his new third pitch, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. Glasnow almost exclusively used his fastball and curveball last season, throwing his changeup just 3.5 percent of the time. It would be premature to alter Glasnow's projection based purely on the news that he's learning a new pitch, but an altered pitch mix certainly brings the potential for a new level of performance. It's not effectiveness but rather health that's the worry for Glasnow, however. He posted an incredible 1.78 ERA and a 33.0 percent strikeout rate last season, but that came in just 12 starts. There's already some cause to worry about his health for the upcoming season, as he underwent a wrist procedure in November, but he's expected to be on schedule for the start of camp.
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