Glasnow needs to let it rip
"Attack" is the operative word in the Pirates' organization when it comes to their young pitchers. At his weekly meeting with the press, Neal Huntington said that they are looking for Tyler Glasnow ramp up the aggression: "For some reason he backed off a little bit and instead of attacking he tried to pitch maybe more than we needed him to."
Monday afternoon, Clint Hurdle paid Chad Kuhl the high compliment of commending his attacking style: "That's what I like about him, the honest self-evaluation and he attacks. He's going to attack."
Attacking means "letting your stuff play," Hurdle explained. Pitching, in this context, means trying to be too fine. The analogy Hurdle used is the difference between a technical engineer and a freeform artist. One places emphasis on technique and precision; the other lets it rip in a fit creative explosion. One is cerebral; the other quiets the rational mind and relies on instinct and feel.
The Pirates want the artist, not the technician. They believe Glasnow's raw stuff is major league ready, but he is getting in his own way. "We are trying to get this young man to gain the mentality of just going out and attacking," Hurdle said. "It's a ninth inning mentality. You're out to close the game one inning at a time."
Sunday afternoon, there were "some sequences" where Glasnow attacked. But there were other times when he was "fine-tuning some things and he wanted to make sure he was executing pitches." The latter is mostly coming with men on base. "The running part probably seeped into it and probably affected his delivery and making pitches," Hurdle said.
For his part, Glasnow is confident his stuff and, with it, an attacking approach will return sooner-than-later. "It'll come back," he said. "I know it will. I've been that guy." The key to coming back, as far as the Pirates are concerned, is for him to be more Jackson Pollack than Ole Singstad
(H/T Bill Brink for the Singstad reference. Apparently, he is reading some book on engineering.)
As has been well-noted, Sean Rodriguez is having a breakout season. In 320 plate appearances, he's posting a 130 RC+ and a soaring 43.9 hard-hit percentage. With the extensions of David Freese and Josh Harrison, plus the arrivals of Adam Frazier and Alen Hanson, it would appear the club won't have the resources, or need, to aggressively pursue keeping another utility player. And from Huntington's comments on the situation, it appears that Pirates won't be seriously involved in keeping Rodriguez around.
"Sean's just done a remarkable job," Huntington said. "We'd love to have Sean remain in a Pirate uniform. Given what he's done this year, we would fully anticipate that there's going to be quite a market out there for him and he's going to have a pretty good opportunity to do some good things."
Kingham next year's Taillon?
The Pirates anticipate Nick Kingham joining the Pirates rotation at in 2017. It appears the right-hander will be given the opportunity to compete for a spot in spring training, but it is much more likely his window will open a deeper into the season.
"We'll see (how) he comes into spring training," Huntington said. "I think it's more realistic to expect he'll need some time at the upper levels to get going, but we do anticipate he'll help us late next year or sometime next summer.
Asked if Taillon is the "template" for Kingham, Huntington spoke to the specialness of the former.
"Jameson is also pretty unique and a special guy, so to compare anyone to him is hard," Huntington said. "He's so mature, so driven it's almost unfair to compare people to him. We'll take Nick's progress at his pace and he'll show us where he's ready to go."