Rays Star Pitcher Tyler Glasnow’s Career Took a Turn For the Better After Leaving Pittsburgh

In 2018, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Tyler Glasnow to the Tampa Bay Rays. Glasnow struggled during his time in Pittsburgh, and now he’s pitching in the 2020 World Series for the Rays.

The Rays pitcher has taken full advantage of playing in Tampa, and he’s a key pitcher in the starting rotation. He is that much closer to winning a World Series title.

The Pirates drafted Glasnow right out of high school

Glasnow is a native of Newhall, California, and attended William S. Hart High School in Santa Clarita. After his high school career, he committed to play baseball at the University of Portland. The Pirates drafted him in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB draft, and he signed the Pirates for a $600,000 signing bonus. Glasnow made his professional debut in 2012 for the Gulf Coast Pirates of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

He made 11 appearances and 10 starts and finished with an 0-3 record with a 2.10 ERA. In 2013 he had success pitching for the West Virginia Power of the Class A South Atlantic League. Glasnow started in 24 games and finished with a 9-3 record, a 2.18 ERA, and 164 strikeouts in 111.1 innings. 

The young prospect at the time continued to make his way up the ranks in the leagues. He began the 2016 season with the Indianapolis Indians of the Class AAA International League. Glasnow started in 20 games and had a 1.87 ERA and 133 strikeouts. The Pirates decided to promote him to the big leagues that season.

Glasnow struggled during his time with the Pirates

The right-hander made his MLB debut on July 7, 2016, and pitched 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks. Glasnow suffered a shoulder injury during his second start after throwing three innings. When he returned from his injury, the Pirates used him as a relief pitcher. He didn’t make his next start until September 25. After the 2016 season, Glasnow finished with an 0–2 record and a 4.24 ERA.

During the 2017 season, Glasnow was a member of the Pirates starting rotation. He struggled in his first start of the season as he gave up five runs on four hits and five walks in 1.2 innings. Glasnow did not have the career he envisioned when he joined the Pirates. He had a disappointing finish to the 2017 season as he ended with a 2-7 record. In 2018, the Pirates decided that they would start Glasnow off as a relief pitcher. He pitched in 34 games during the 2018 season out of the bullpen and finished with a 1-2 record with a 4.34 ERA. 

Glasnow finding success with the Rays


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During the 2018 season, the Pirates traded Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Shane Boz to the Rays for Chris Archer. When Glasnow joined the Rays, he was quickly put into the starting rotation. Glasnow started in 11 games for the Rays and finished with a 1-5 record with a 4.20 ERA. The 2019 season was a much better year for Glasnow than previous seasons. He started the season with a 5-0 record with a 1.75 ERA and was named American League Pitcher of The Month for April. 

Glasnow was plagued with injuries in 2019. He made 12 starts that season and finished with a 6-1 record with a 1.78 ERA in ​60.2 innings. Glasnow made an appearance during the 2019 playoffs and was the losing pitcher in Game 5 of the ALDS against the Houston Astros. After having success during the 2019 season, Glasnow was ready to have more success in 2020.

During spring training in 2020, Glasnow talked about his time pitching in Pittsburgh. “In Pittsburgh it was more that they had success in 2013-15 with throwing in and down,” Glasnow said in an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It was pre-advanced stuff, in their defense, to where it was just kind of like, ‘This worked in the past. Let’s do this,’ as opposed to finding the concrete evidence or data to support what your stuff is.” 

“If you struggled, they typecast you into a certain role. ‘This tends to work, so if you’re struggling, here’s some stuff that we know works.’ ” Glasnow didn’t fit too well with how they were running things in Pittsburgh. But it looks like he’s found success in Tampa Bay. During the 2020 season, he was 5-1 with a 4.08 ERA. In the playoffs, Glasnow started the clinching game in both the Wild Card round and Division Series. He started Game 1 of the World Series and took the loss giving up six earned runs in 4.1 innings.