It’s no surprise to say that the Pittsburgh Pirates are struggling over the past two weeks. Owning a 4-12 record over their last 16 games, the team seems to have lost whatever identity they had early in the year.
Sitting at 30-29 overall, the Pittsburgh Pirates can’t be ruled out of the race in the NL Central and especially the NL Wild Card spots. However, now may be the time to take some risks in search of a big reward to boost the club.
Giving Tyler Glasnow a shot at the starting rotation seems to be a good place to start.
The 24-year old has been electric out of the pen in his last nine appearances. Spanning 14.2 innings, he has allowed only one earned run (a solo home run), struck out 17 batters, and walked just four.
He has been a major bright spot in a floundering bullpen. Do the Bucs want to risk moving their current best reliever out of the situations he has been succeeding in? Only time will tell but they absolutely should give him a chance.
A new man
A big issue last year with Glasnow was his command which had been a red flag in the minors but his sheer ability to dominate low level hitters overshadowed the flaw.
His command struggles also seemed to play mind games with him. His youth showed and his struggles doubled down. Essentially, he just wasn’t fully developed.
In 15 games (13 starts), he had a 2.016 WHIP, which is dreadful. He also carried a 6.30 FIP and a K/BB ratio of 1.27 (56K/44BB).
Currently through 17 appearances in 2018, he ranks second on the team with a 2.92 FIP and carries a 1.387 WHIP, which is elevated due to a pair of bad outings earlier in the season.
However, what many seem to notice is that he just acts like he belongs. Watching the games, you can sense his composure on the mound. He isn’t afraid to go after hitters.
He seemed to have done what a true professional does. Learn from his mistakes and make adjustments to be better tomorrow.
Who does he replace?
The issue with this situation is, the Pittsburgh Pirates already have a backlog of young talent in the rotation. Jameson Taillon had a promising start last Friday, which is hopefully a trend upwards for him.
Then there is Chad Kuhl who has arguably been the Pirates most consistent starter since the beginning of May.
Ivan Nova will also presumably return soon from the DL. However, before his DL stint, he allowed 20 earned runs in his previous five starts.
You know if you’ve even so much as followed the box scores, the pitching has been a weakness for a better part of the year.
Not only has Glasnow done what is asked of him in a relief role, he has also limited his walks and utilized his swing and miss stuff to get hitters out.
I think the Pirates owe it to him and themselves to see if they can finally strike gold with the former top prospect. At this point in time, the possible reward is every bit worth the risk.