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Glasnow enjoying new routine of bullpen role

Right-hander has gotten solid results in first week as reliever
MLB.com @adamdberry

PITTSBURGH -- One week into the season, Tyler Glasnow has taken well to a relief role. He likes the quick warmup, the aggressive approach and the competitive mindset that are all necessary to pitching out of the bullpen.

The results haven't been too bad, either. Glasnow struck out five and allowed one run in three innings to finish the Pirates' frigid 7-3 loss to the Twins on Wednesday night at PNC Park. It was the only run he's allowed in five innings over two relief appearances this season; he's allowed only three hits, but walked four while striking out seven.

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PITTSBURGH -- One week into the season, Tyler Glasnow has taken well to a relief role. He likes the quick warmup, the aggressive approach and the competitive mindset that are all necessary to pitching out of the bullpen.

The results haven't been too bad, either. Glasnow struck out five and allowed one run in three innings to finish the Pirates' frigid 7-3 loss to the Twins on Wednesday night at PNC Park. It was the only run he's allowed in five innings over two relief appearances this season; he's allowed only three hits, but walked four while striking out seven.

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"I like it so far," Glasnow said. "I like the change-up of, you just get up and get ready, no matter how you feel. Just go out and do as well as you can."

Manager Clint Hurdle was pleased with Glasnow's strike-throwing -- 35 of his 55 pitches were strikes -- as well as his improved pickoff move. Glasnow appeared to throw out Eddie Rosario at first base in the seventh inning, but the safe call was upheld after a replay review. With that move and his overall mentality on the mound, Glasnow has focused above all else on being athletic.

"I think just the experience of last year and spring and this, I think a lot of it's getting confidence and being comfortable up there," Glasnow said. "I felt good in spring, brought it into here and it's just riding with it right now."

Hurdle restated the Pirates' bullpen plan before Thursday's series opener against the Reds. With a lead, Michael Feliz is their seventh-inning man. Then comes George Kontos in the eighth and closer Felipe Rivero in the ninth. That leaves Dovydas Neverauskas, Edgar Santana and Josh Smoker to form a bridge from the starter to the late-inning trio, and all three have struggled over the past week.

But the Pirates don't plan to disrupt Glasnow anytime soon, even with the front end of their bullpen still taking shape.

"Give a man an opportunity to get some traction, get his feet on the ground, see where he goes," Hurdle said. "We need to leave him alone right now, I believe, and give him an opportunity to continue to develop and hunt outs like he is in the role that he's in."

Pirates recognize first responders
A group of Pirates players visited Pittsburgh Fire Bureau Station 32 and Pittsburgh Police Department Zone One to meet with firefighters and officers and distribute tickets before Saturday's First Responders Night at PNC Park.

Tweet from @Pirates: Today we were on the North Side thanking local first responders and visiting with them in advance of Saturday's First Responders Night at PNC! ������ https://t.co/2dW5K0gBix pic.twitter.com/ftW5deobOW

Sean Rodriguez, Trevor Williams, Chad Kuhl, Elias Diaz and Edgar Santana made both stops. Williams brought his firetruck-obsessed son, Isaac, and Rodriguez brought his four children.

Tweet from @Pirates: A HUGE Thank You to Engine 32 and Pittsburgh Police Zone One for hosting us this afternoon! 🚒🚓 pic.twitter.com/BNPMXZ6zOY

"First responders deserve more than one day, but it's good they're getting recognized before the game on Saturday," Williams said. "Hopefully we continue to do it. It was cool to say hello to them."

Around the horn
Colin Moran was out of the lineup for Thursday's series opener against the Reds. David Freese started at third base, in part due to his numbers (8-for-26, two home runs) against starter Homer Bailey, but also to keep the veteran sharp off the bench.

• Thursday was Opening Day for three of the Pirates' Minor League affiliates: Class A West Virginia, Class A Advanced Bradenton and Double-A Altoona. Triple-A Indianapolis' season opener is scheduled for Friday.

• Hurdle said the Pirates are looking for an opportunity to use right-hander Clay Holmes, who has not pitched since being called up to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Tyler Glasnow