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One of the biggest storylines this spring training for the Pittsburgh Pirates is the battle for the fifth rotation spot. It seemed, at the start, to be a battle between Drew Hutchison, the man the Pirates traded for last summer and with a good amount of major league experience, and Tyler Glasnow, the uber-prospect who has tremendous upside but can’t seem to get the ball across the plate consistently. Steven Brault likely has an outside shot, but that’s mostly because he’s a lefty and the Pirates don’t have a lefty in their top four.
Glasnow needed a great spring to truly have a shot at making the Opening Day roster. He started out great, striking out six while walking none in two innings. But his two appearances since then have not been pretty. In his second outing, he allowed six runs in 2.1 innings while walking four. And in his most recent outing this past Monday, Glasnow five runs in 2.2 innings. Glasnow’s ERA sits at 8.53 across 6.1 innings of work. On the flip side, Drew Hutchison has an ERA of 2.00 in nine innings.
We all know spring training stats should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, Juan Nicasio set the world on fire last spring, yet did not pitch well as a starter when Opening Day came around. That being said, I think it’s fair to wonder if Glasnow needs more seasoning in the minors before he gets a spot in the major league rotation. In only one of his outings has he allowed more than one walk, which is a good sign, but he’s allowing runs in bunches. This is in part due to him not having great control of his fastball, and also him focusing on working on his changeup. If he still has work to do, Indianapolis may be the best place for him to tidy up his craft. The Pirates don’t need to rush him back to the majors.
Baseball Talk Around the Web
- Jordy Mercer has been a decent shortstop for the Pirates. But there are certainly much better shortstops in the bigs. ESPN asks which shortstop you’d like to build your team around. Vote and see the results here.
- Mike Axisa of CBS Sports believes that the race in the NL Central is for second place behind the Cubs. Check out his NL Central preview here.
- And Chris Bahr of Fox Sports ranks the six divisions in baseball by overall strength. Check that out here.
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