During his ascent through Pittsburgh's farm system, Tyler Glasnow made a name for himself as a premier prospect. With a fastball that hovers around the 95 mph, a changeup and a curveball, Glasnow consistently fooled batters and turned in K/9s above 9.0 at each level. That dominance has yet to translate to the majors, as he posted a 7.45 ERA and 1.91 WHIP over his first 12 starts last season. His control was seemingly gone, as threw for a 50:29 K:BB over that span, and those struggles resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Indianapolis in mid-June. Glasnow found his groove with Indy, posting a 1.93 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 140:32 K:BB over 15 starts. However, he wasn't any better after returning to the big leagues in September (9.39 ERA, 2.74 WHIP). Until he shows something at the highest level, Glasnow will remain merely a lottery ticket -- an arm with upside but without the track record to warrant a substantial investment in single-season drafts.
General manager Neal Huntington said the Pirates are open to using Glasnow out of the bullpen to start the season, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. While Huntington noted the team views Glasnow as a starter long term, he didn't rule out the possibility of using him in a relief role. Despite being one of the more promising young arms in the game, Glasnow has yet to put it together at the major-league level, posting a 6.75 ERA, 1.88 WHIP and 6.0 BB/9 over the past two seasons (85.1 innings). The 24-year-old owns a much more respectable 3.75 ERA in 12 innings of relief, so the Pirates may be hoping he can find form in the bullpen before moving back to the rotation.
Glasnow will pitch in relief Wednesday before rejoining the Pirates' rotation, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Glasnow struggled in his return to the rotation last week, so the club will temporarily shift him to a bullpen role before sending him back out for another start. It sounds like he'll be the first man used in relief following starter Steven Brault. He's expected to be reinserted into the rotation following Wednesday's appearance, though it's unclear when his next start will come.
Glasnow (2-7) allowed five runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three batters through just 2.2 innings Wednesday, taking the loss to Milwaukee. After finding his form through 15 starts with Triple-A Indianapolis (1.93 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 13.5 K/9), it was discouraging to see Glasnow struggle in his return to the majors. The 24-year-old righty now sports a disastrous 6.25 FIP through 13 starts with Pittsburgh this season. Despite his tremendous upside and potential to provide a fantasy boost over the final weeks of the season, Glasnow can't be started with confidence in most settings. He lines up to face the Brewers at home in his next start.
Glasnow will start Wednesday against the Brewers, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The right-hander was recalled Sunday, and this confirms the club plans to try him out in the rotation again. Glasnow blazed through Triple-A Indianapolis this season, nailing down a 1.93 ERA with 140 strikeouts and only 32 walks in 93.1 innings (15 starts). He's again made several adjustments to his approach during his latest stint there, including speeding up his delivery, and these seem to be working. This could wind up being a different Glasnow down the stretch than the version who carries a 7.45 ERA for his major-league season. Don't let season-long numbers deter you from streaming him for potentially favorable matchups, including his return outing that could help him pile up whiffs.
Glasnow was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday. This move doesn't come as much of a surprise, as Glasnow is one of the Pirates' primary options to start Tuesday's game against the Brewers. However, Glasnow has been a liability on the mound for the Pirates this season. After making 12 starts (54.3 innings) he owns an ERA and WHIP of 7.45 and 1.91, respectively. However, he's been much better since being demoted to Triple-A previously, so perhaps he's found something that works.