Unpredictable Repertoire of Indians’ Tyler Glasnow Key To Success


Tyler Glasnow was in a zone on April 16th. Equipped with a mid-90s fastball, a devastating curveball and a blossoming changeup sprinkled in, the 22-year-old 6’8’’ Indianapolis Indians’ right-hander and Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect had mowed down 12 straight Columbus Clippers when Ronny Rodriguez stepped to the plate in the fifth inning. Glasnow quickly jumped ahead 1-2 in the count, and went to his fastball up in the zone, only to be fouled back. He then uncorked his curve, beginning in the strike-zone but plummeting strategically to the dirt. Rodriguez swung and missed badly. The end result: Glasnow’s ninth strikeout, tying his career-high as an Indian and putting a cap on his stellar evening full of unpredictability.

Throughout that streak of 13-straight retired hitters, Glasnow started the Clippers with either his curveball or fastball, then worked off these pitches as he saw fit. He says the key to his success is the ensuing desire to keep hitters on their toes, left only to surmise what’s coming their way.

“I like switching it up and not being too predictable when it’s late in counts, throwing curveballs and stuff, just because at this level if they know it’s coming they will either lay off or put a bat on it,” Glasnow says. “I think that will benefit you later in the year and kind of have hitters not really know what I’m throwing.”

Glasnow only threw five changeups against the right-handed heavy Clippers, but plans on using it more as more lefties dig into the batter’s box.

“I only threw five tonight just because there wasn’t a ton of lefties,” he says. “That’s another pitch for me, I incorporate that in later. I can throw my fastball, curveball and then second, third time through the lineup I can start throwing that, so I can keep them guessing.”

That approach has led to superb results this season, not just in his outing against Columbus. Thus far in four starts, he has 30 strikeouts in 21 innings, while allowing only six runs. Keying this success is his mentality, which he believes is just as important as his array of pitches.

“Not thinking about mechanics and stuff is what allows you to just go out and compete and throw,” he says. “Something else takes over. It’s not your conscious thought. I felt good and I’m just going to take that into the next start with it.”

And Glasnow has since done just that, befuddling the Durham Bulls in his latest outing on April 26 by surpassing his strikeout total against Columbus with 11 over six shutout innings, collecting the first of what could very well be many victories in 2016 for the confident righty.

Photo by Adam Pintar