This is a really good interview with Glasnow which confirms a lot of we thought about the situation. Glasnow doesn’t blame the coaching stuff, putting a lot on himself, but admits that he felt at a dead end in Pittsburgh.
I was kind of in limbo — even within myself — in Pittsburgh. I didn’t know if I was going to be a reliever or a starter. But the Rays were just like, “You’re going to be a starter. We know what you can do. We’ve seen you pitch.” It made me kind of believe in myself. At the end of 2015, after I got moved up to AAA, something happened. I got lost. I felt weird physically. I started to tinker with stuff because I was like, Hey, this could be your year to get to the big leagues. I worked with a lot of people to try to fix me, to get me back to normal. … It was a case of doing too much.
We would tinker. I just got to a point where I wasn’t helping myself out. I was thinking too much, trying to fix things overnight, making quick fixes.I remember even before I got called up, I felt physically I was like, What is going on with me? My velo’s not there. My breaking stuff’s not there. I really don’t know what’s going on. The whole time I was in the majors, especially ’17, I was in search mode. I was changing something between each start. I forgot how to feel comfortable. The expectations of doing well in the big leagues can add extra pressure. I kind of let it snowball instead of just going out and trying to be myself.
What was holding me back was the fear of failing. And then I finally failed and was like, Wow. Obviously this sucks, but life still goes on. I think the reason I was so excited to get traded — not to leave the organization; I love the Pirates and all the coaches and players — is a change of scenery. It was like, all right, I can forget everything, pretend it’s a new it’s a new season and go out and do what I want to do. New people, new players, new everything.
Looking at spin rates and how the flight of my ball — there’s a lot of analytics and stuff here that I can look at — it’s just way, way more effective up in the zone. I think being so tall and getting so far down the mound, it’s really hard for me to live down in the zone. Early in my minor league career that was all I tried to do — downhill and down; go in and low in the zone. It was really tough to do.
I had a conversation with [Rays pitching coach Kyle] Snyder. He asked, “What do you want to do?” I said, “From the numbers I’ve seen, I need to be up in the zone [with fastballs] and then down in the zone with curveballs.” I mixed that physical part in with the way I would approach hitters, and it felt a lot better.