Glasnow thinks pitch-tipping is nixed

March 4th, 2020

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Aside from working on his pitches, an emphasis for this spring has been to fix a tipping issue that has followed him throughout his career, especially in Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Astros.

The right-hander’s tell was the way he positioned his glove on his fastball and curve. Glasnow said he has taken the necessary steps to correct it.

Glasnow, who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the Rays’ 9-5 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday at Charlotte Sports Park, is now mixing the location of his glove from pitch to pitch. He will consciously change the glove's placement and alternate it after pitches. The adjustment requires some thought and strategy, but not enough to distract Glasnow from making effective pitches.

“I’m pretty sure I’m not tipping at all,” Glasnow said after Wednesday’s start. “It’s something I’ll look at video tomorrow, but I’m fairly certain that it is taken care of.”

While Glasnow believes the tipping issue is behind him, his pure stuff continues to look sharp. Glasnow features a firm fastball and a plus curveball, and he is working on improving a changeup that would make opposing hitters even more uncomfortable at the plate.

Glasnow didn’t waste much time flashing his ability, hitting 99 mph on the radar gun in the first inning on Wednesday.

“I’m pleased where he is,” Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder said. “Now we are really trying to hone in and fine-tune some of the other stuff that we feel he needs to take care of.”

Glasnow struck out three and threw 38 pitches, 27 for strikes. He mostly threw the four-seam fastball and the curveball, which are his most-used pitches.

Glasnow also threw a changeup to Joe Panik in the first inning. Glasnow called the changeup a “bad one”; the radar gun said the pitch was thrown at 93 mph.

“It’s enough of a drop [in velocity], I guess, if I’m throwing hard enough, and I feel like I should’ve gotten it down,” Glasnow said. “I think early on [in Spring Training], I was just trying to get into the game rhythm, but I’ll probably mix it in a little bit more.”

The changeup was the pitch Glasnow threw when he felt some discomfort before he landed on the injured list last May 10 with a mild forearm strain. But after studying his mechanics on the pitch and having conversations with Snyder, Glasnow doesn’t think the arm issues will be a problem when he throws it.

“It’s been feeling really good,” Glasnow said. “When I went back to see the one that it happened on, I dropped my arm like 10 inches. … I throw it like a fastball now and stay behind it. Just getting behind it, throwing it like a fastball, the movement is the same and it feels really good.”

Padlo returns
Infielder , who has been away from the team for a couple of weeks with a non-baseball-related illness, returned to Rays camp on Wednesday. Padlo dealt with severe headaches that were limiting his sleep and overall health.

“I’m definitely happy to be back,” Padlo said. “I’m feeling good, and [it's] just good to be back in the locker room and able to do baseball-related activities, so I’m excited. Very excited to get things going.”

In his time away from the team, Padlo returned to the Tampa Bay area and visited multiple specialists to try to find the source of the headaches. All life-threatening possibilities were ruled out, and Padlo was diagnosed with daily persistent headaches -- an ongoing headache. Padlo was given medication and, while he has gotten minor headaches over the past few weeks, he felt good enough to return to the field.

“Going through something like that gives you an appreciation of what I’m doing and what I get to do every day,” Padlo said. “It has definitely given me more of an appreciation for that, for sure.”

Whitley update
The Rays said that outfielder Garrett Whitley will not need surgery to repair multiple facial fractures. Whitley visited a specialist after being hit by a foul ball while in the dugout on Monday. It's possible that Whitley will be ready to return in time for the start of the Minor League season.

Veteran move
has the most Major League experience on the Rays’ 40-man roster, and he showed off his veteran leadership on Wednesday, gifting all of his teammates, including non-roster invitees, a new tailored dress shirt.

Up next
Ryan Yarbrough will make his third start of the spring on Thursday when the Rays host the Pirates at Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 p.m. ET. Yarbrough, who has yet to allow a run in Grapefruit League play, is scheduled to pitch three or four innings, depending on his pitch count.