Hurdle: 'Work to be done' with Glasnow

Hurdle: 'Work to be done' with Glasnow

PITTSBURGH -- During Spring Training, as Tyler Glasnow pulled ahead in the race for the final spot in the Pirates' rotation, he pointed to several "a-ha" moments in his development. There were starts where he felt his delivery was tight and athletic, sequences where his changeup and two-seamer complemented his fastball and curveball.

But as Glasnow struggled through a five-out season debut Monday night at PNC Park, he looked more like the pitcher who made an inconsistent debut last season. The Pirates' top prospect lost command of the strike zone and couldn't control the running game in the Pirates' 7-1 loss to the Reds.

"Honestly, this is just going to be one of those [where you] forget about it and go out and get the next one," Glasnow said.

Glasnow faced 14 batters in his 1 2/3 innings. Nine reached as he walked five and allowed four hits while striking out one Reds hitter. He needed 64 pitches to get through the outing, and only 39 were strikes.

He threw first-pitch strikes to eight of the 14 hitters he faced, but the Reds worked extended at-bats and capitalized on his wildness. He walked four straight batters in the first inning, and two scored runs.

"You want to get ahead, you want to use the fastball a little bit. But the fastball command wasn't where it needed to be against that club, against any club up here," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's work to be done."

It was not completely out of character for Glasnow, who has walked 4.5 batters per nine innings in his professional career, but it did not match up with the strides he took in Spring Training. Over his last two starts in Florida, Glasnow struck out 14 and walked three in eight innings. The mechanical tweaks to harness the 6-foot-8 right-hander's long limbs seemed to be paying off.

But none of that translated to Glasnow's season debut Monday night.

"This is the challenge that's in front of him, the next challenge for him. Long levers are long levers. They're not going to change," Hurdle said. "It's something we've talked to him about, we'll continue to talk to him about. There's got to be some athleticism out there. At times when it's not going his way, we get a little rigid and straight up. Things just take longer to unfold."

Glasnow said he fell into old, bad habits in the second inning, when his delivery lengthened out, and his fastball velocity ticked down to 91-93 mph. He faced five batters in the second, and four of them reached safely. He was slower to the plate, and Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza pulled off a double steal, accounting for half of the total swiped against Glasnow.

"I've got to stay competitive, focus on the glove and be athletic," Glasnow said. "Going into that second, I was just trying to do a little more. I lengthen out, and I lose a lot of power. At least now I can identify it, work on it now and get back in and know what I can do next start.

"Just throw it away, move on, get ready to pitch in five days."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.