BRADENTON, Fla. -- Tyler Glasnow missed his last scheduled outing due to flu-like symptoms, so in the 10 days between starts, he had plenty of time to talk and work with pitching coach Ray Searage. In their conversations, they developed a game plan that Glasnow put into action over 4
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Tyler Glasnow missed his last scheduled outing due to flu-like symptoms, so in the 10 days between starts, he had plenty of time to talk and work with pitching coach Ray Searage. In their conversations, they developed a game plan that Glasnow put into action over 4 2/3 strong innings against the Red Sox on Sunday at LECOM Park.
Glasnow entered the day with an 11.74 ERA in his first three Grapefruit League outings, despite a 13:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. On March 7, the Blue Jays put up seven runs on six hits during his 2 2/3 innings of work. He realized he was working away from hitters too often, so his delivery opened up. The end result, he said, was a high percentage of hittable pitches.
To keep hitters off-balance, Glasnow focused Sunday on pitching inside. The results were more favorable as he held Boston to one run on five hits and two walks while striking out six in Pittsburgh's 2-1 loss. He worked into the fifth inning on 76 pitches.
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"For a guy like me who [doesn't have] super-pinpoint control, it definitely puts a little fear in the batter, not knowing where it's going to go," Glasnow said. "Going in there and opening them up opens up both sides of the plate for me, so I get away with a little bit more. … Just get ahead and show that I can get it in there. I had a lot of uncomfortable at-bats today."
Glasnow thought his command worsened as the outing went on due to fatigue, but he was encouraged overall. So was manager Clint Hurdle.
"I really liked the way he attacked the hitters today," Hurdle said. "The changeup kept them off the fastball, then some guys had to try to cheat to the fastball because the velocity was big. You got some checked swings up top. Some good called strikes in. I thought it was a really strong outing for him."
Around the horn
• Left-hander Steven Brault pitched four scoreless innings in the Pirates' split-squad, 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. Brault allowed a hit and a walk and struck out Kendrys Morales, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA to 1.69. Like Glasnow, Brault is being stretched out to provide starting depth but is more likely to begin the season in Pittsburgh's bullpen.
• Adam Frazier got the start in center field at LECOM Park and played seven innings there. While Sean Rodriguez is set to be the backup center fielder behind Starling Marte, the versatile Frazier could also see time there in addition to second base, third base, shortstop and both corner-outfield positions.
• Catcher Jacob Stallings threw out Boston's Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo trying to steal second base. Stallings won't break camp with the Pirates, barring an injury, but the Pirates are confident in his ability to step up if a need arises in the Majors.
"We have no hesitation in bringing Jacob into play if something would happen in camp. He's developed. The bat's come on," Hurdle said. "He's developed extremely well. In the eyes of some, he's an overachiever. He's achieving."
Four of the main candidates for Pittsburgh's final bench spot were in play. At LECOM Park, Bryce Brentz started in left field and went 0-for-2 with a walk, while Jordan Luplow singled to left in a pinch-hitting appearances. At Dunedin Stadium, Jose Osuna started in right field and went 0-for-3, while Max Moroff started at third and finished 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts.
A number of bullpen candidates also took the mound. Dovydas Neverauskas and Kyle Crick each pitched a scoreless inning against the Red Sox. Richard Rodriguez and Jordan Milbrath tossed a scoreless frame against the Blue Jays. Right-hander John Stilson gave up two runs, and Casey Sadler -- previously unscored upon all spring -- allowed three runs on four hits and a walk.
Right-hander Nick Kingham will start for the Pirates as they return to LECOM Park at 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday to face the Twins. Right-hander Michael Feliz and lefty Josh Smoker, competing for a spot in the Opening Day bullpen, are also scheduled to pitch for Pittsburgh. The starting outfield -- Corey Dickerson, Marte and Gregory Polanco -- is slated to play together. The game will be available on MLB.TV and will air on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.