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Glasnow putting focus on his changeup

Prospect faced seven batters in Monday's Black & Gold intrasquad game
MLB.com

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Tyler Glasnow needed three pitches to secure bragging rights in his household this spring.

Glasnow struck out roommate and fellow top prospect Josh Bell on two foul balls and a high fastball in the second inning of the Pirates' annual Black & Gold game on Monday at McKechnie Field. The friendly competition provided a glimpse of the swing-and-miss stuff that may propel Glasnow into the Pirates' rotation at some point this season.

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Tyler Glasnow needed three pitches to secure bragging rights in his household this spring.

Glasnow struck out roommate and fellow top prospect Josh Bell on two foul balls and a high fastball in the second inning of the Pirates' annual Black & Gold game on Monday at McKechnie Field. The friendly competition provided a glimpse of the swing-and-miss stuff that may propel Glasnow into the Pirates' rotation at some point this season.

"Josh gets his fair share of hits off me. He's a good hitter," Glasnow said, smiling. "He's my roommate, too. I'm sure we'll banter back and forth a little bit, but it's all out of love."

Video: Glasnow, Taillon on pitching in intrasquad game

Glasnow faced seven batters in the intrasquad game, allowing two runs while striking out two hitters. In his second frame, he focused on throwing his changeup -- something the Pirates need to see more of before calling him up.

The 22-year-old right-hander hasn't needed an above-average third pitch to succeed in the Minor Leagues. Last year, he went 7-5 with a 2.39 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 109 1/3 innings, going from Class A to Triple-A by season's end. Since being selected in the fifth round of the 2011 Draft, Glasnow has posted a 2.07 ERA while striking out nearly 12 batters per nine innings.

In need of reinforcements late last season, the Pirates considered calling up Glasnow. Instead, they let him continue his development in the Minors. When he breaks camp with Triple-A Indianapolis, he'll work on polishing his consistency and command.

Video: Clint Hurdle on prospects Tyler Glasnow, Elias Diaz

Glasnow, MLB Pipeline's No. 10 overall prospect, throws an electric fastball and a swing-and-miss curveball. The Pirates also would like Glasnow to improve his changeup. To do that, he'll have to throw it a lot in Spring Training.

"He's still doing Minor League hitters a favor when he throws the changeup, but he needs to throw it," general manager Neal Huntington said. "It needs to become not only a pitch he can use, but a weapon for him."

Glasnow said he has grown more comfortable with his changeup over the last few years. He has learned to trust his grip and throw it hard rather than slowing down his arm to take velocity off the pitch.

"I'm just going to go out and throw that a ton more than I used to," Glasnow said. "I'm pretty confident this season it's going to be ready to go."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates, Tyler Glasnow