The time is now. After so much talk all season about when the Pirates No. 1 prospect would get the call, RHP Tyler Glasnow will make his debut this afternoon in Busch Stadium in the final game of a four-game series against the Cardinals. Glasnow will look to help the Pirates keep their seven-game win streak in tact today and sweep the Cards.
Here’s the year Glasnow was having at Triple-A Indianapolis this season: 7-2, 1.78 ERA, only 57 hits in 96 innings, four home runs, 52 walks and an eye-popping 113 strikeouts. That’s a 10.6 strikeout per nine innings rate. His swing-and-miss stuff is incredible and could be the best we’ve seen out of a Pirates prospect in a long time. If he struggles, it’ll be because of his control. He’s walking 4.9 batters per nine innings and has walked 4.3 per nine in his minor league career. That has to get better if he’s going to the projected ace for Pittsburgh. His last start in Indy last Saturday was an improvement with eight strikeouts and just one walk in 6.0 innings of work.
Glasnow was a 5th round choice in the 2011 MLB draft and is ranked as the Pirates No. 1 prospect this spring and overall MLB’s No. 8 top prospect. In his entire minor league career, Glasnow owns a 2.01 ERA (479 IP/107 ER) with an impressive 11.5 K/9 and a not so impressive 4.9 BB/9.
Glasnow will be the 5th Pirates starting pitcher to make his Major League debut already this season. And the 6’8 right-hander will be the Pirates 11th starter this season. Will this be a spot start or a permanent spot in the rotation? His performance today will most likely dictate that.
The Cardinals will throw the veteran Adam Wainwright out there today against Glasnow. There’s a bit of an age difference between the two starters as Wainwright made his Major League debut 11 years ago in 2005 and his debut was out of the bullpen. Wainwright has struggled in his first season back from injury, posting a 7-5 record and 4.70 ERA. The 34-year-old has faced the Pirates a lot over his career and only has a 4.30 ERA against the Bucs in 31 appearances (21 starts). The Bucs offense has rallied from behind this entire winning streak and will look to keep up the runs today to hand Glasnow some support.