Dunlap: Expect Zero From Glasnow And Hopefully Be Surprised

Colin Dunlap
March 19, 2018 - 1:50 pm

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Not getting my hopes up. I have figured out that’s the best way to go about this thing. Really, the old “don’t expect much so that way you might just be surprised” tactic is the best one, and maybe the only one, to employ here.

I’m talking about Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow.

He had a good outing on Sunday in Spring Training --- the right-hander struck out six in 4.2 innings, walked just two (superb command for him) and pushed through a very good Red Sox lineup.

“I really liked the way he attacked hitters,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

OK. I’m going to need to see it again. And again. And again. And then probably again about 10 more times before I’m a believer. Call me a skeptic, a deep cynic or too hard to impress, but I’m at the point where absolutely nothing Glasnow does in Spring Training or even at the Class AAA level rings transferable to a Major League mound for me.

Is that unfair? Probably a bit.

Is that the reality? For me, from this vantage, it is.

I’d love for it to be another way, I’d love to jump for joy about Glasnow going out and ripping through a lineup that had Betts, Benintendi, Moreland and Bogaerts in it, but I just can’t right now.

I also can’t come to grips with where he slots in for the Pirates. It feels like Tyler Glasnow will end up being the long reliever and spot-start guy, that swingman of sorts, but is that what was truly expected of this 24-year-old with such a profound pedigree? I don't know, I want and expect more. 

I guess the crux of all of this --- of this column and of Tyler Glasnow --- is that he is so darn confounding. He is someone who is so confusing and perplexing to try to decipher.

On one hand, people should be happy that he gassed things up to about 97 mph and had the wherewithal to pitch inside on Sunday, but on the other hand, there’s always that other shoe that drops --- when will his bad outing come? When will he walk a bunch of guys or when will baserunners turn the basepaths into a merry-go-round?

This is a guy who has a limitless ceiling, but has also walked 57 batters in 85 innings and has a 6.75 ERA at the big league level.

This is a guy who pitches in Class AAA games and overwhelms; he dominates to the point where he makes hitters look downright silly. But when he gets to the majors, something always turns amiss. He loses it. He looks and acts bewildered. 

His outing Sunday against the Red Sox? Certainly a wonderful day for him; a positive and no one can take that away.

But with Glasnow, fairly and unfairly, he’s at the point (and I know he’s just 24) where he needs to string together a bunch of those kind of outings --- and maybe even against big league hitters --- before he can really be trusted to take the ball again for the big club.