Tyler Glasnow was dreadful in his first 2017 outing as the Pirates lost 7-1 to the Reds Monday night.
Glasnow issued four walks and three runs in the first inning alone, including two walks with the bases loaded. He then gave up two runs in the second inning as the Reds ran wild on the bases, swiping three bags just in that inning. Glasnow focused very heavily on his fastball, not using his changeup much or at all. He actually didn’t even throw his curveball much, just various fastballs that dipped in velocity after he struggled to get through the first inning.
Glasnow sometimes had these kinds of disaster outings in the minors even as he dominated the competition overall, so it wouldn’t be completely unprecedented if he looked like a completely different pitcher in his next start. But he did nothing today to suggest the Pirates’ somewhat surprising decision to let him begin the season in the rotation was the right one. There’s a big difference between being a really good prospect and actually being able to perform, and until Glasnow shows it — and it might take the form of having some semblance of control, plus being willing to use the changeup in-game — he might be better off in the minors. We’ll see.
Most of what you need to know about the rest of the game is that Wade LeBlanc pitched 5.1 innings of it (which was fine, even though it meant LeBlanc had to hit with two outs and the bases loaded in the third — the Bucs don’t have an off day until next Thursday). Offensively, the Pirates managed just four hits, all singles, although Andrew McCutchen hit a deep drive in the fourth that might have been a double had Billy Hamilton not made a nice catch at the wall. I don’t know — I’m reaching here.