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The Other Side: Tyler Glasnow’s Time With Pirates Now Faint Memory

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Tyler Glasnow, Pittsburgh Pirates

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a recurring series that spotlights Pittsburgh Pirates-oriented news and notes from their opponents.

Tyler Glasnow has understandably put his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the past.

The big right-hander did not meet great expectations during his first three major-league seasons from 2016-18 with the Pirates. He was 3-11 with a 5.79 ERA in 56 games, including 17 starts.

So, it was not necessarily a big deal coming back to PNC Park last week for the first time since he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018. Glasnow is now in his first year with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Santa Clarita, Calif., native couldn’t be happier.

“It’s like a dream come true to wear the Dodger uniform,” Glasnow said during his return trip.

The Pirates once dreamed big about Glasnow. However, he was a major disappointment.

“I never felt like I could pitch the way I wanted,” Glasnow said. “That changed when I got traded to the Rays. But I can’t make excuses. I pretty much sucked in Pittsburgh.”

Ray Searage was the pitching coach when Glasnow broke into the big leagues with the Pirates. Searage, under orders from the front office, tried to turn Glasnow into a sinkerballer as the Pirates pretty much had a cookie-cutter template for pitchers during that time.

The 6-foot-8 Glasnow is a power pitcher and started throwing his fastball to the top of the strike zone – and overpowering opposing hitters – once he got to Tampa Bay. Rays pitcher coach Kyle Snyder is also 6-8.

“It was like he immediately knew what I needed to do, and he understands the challenges that come from being a tall pitcher, especially with stuff like your delivery,” Glasnow said. “We just clicked right away.”

However, Glasnow reached the point where the thrifty Rays could no longer afford him – sound familiar? Glasnow’s salary was $25 million last season.

So, the Rays and Dodgers agreed to a tentative trade in the offseason in which Glasnow had a 48-hour window to agree to a contract extension. The 30-year-old signed a five-year, $136.5-million deal that runs him through the 2028 season.

Glasnow and the Chicago White Sox’s Garrett Crochet are tied for the major-league lead with 116 strikeouts. Glasnow has a 6-5 record and a 3.24 ERA in 14 starts.

“I knew I was going to get traded over the winter and you hear all the rumors, and you wonder what is going to happen,” Glasnow said. “If I could have picked any team I wanted to be traded to, it would have been the Dodgers. I was so excited.”

And his time with the Pirates seems like a lifetime ago.

“They’ve made a lot of changes since I was here and I hardly know anyone,” Glasnow said.

Walker Buehler, Pirates Never Close

Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler was selected by the Pirates in the 14th round of the 2012 amateur draft following his graduation from Henry Clay High School in Louisville, Ky.

Buehler had accepted a scholarship to Vanderbilt. He told teams he would only sign if drafted by the end of the supplemental first round. Buehler also wanted a $1-million signing bonus.

The Pirates didn’t meet Buehler’s requirements. Three years later, the Dodgers drafted Buehler in the first round, and he has a 47-20 record over seven seasons.

“We talked with the Pirates, but it never got serious,” Buehler said.

Michael A. Taylor Fan Club

The Minnesota Twins did not attempt to re-sign center fielder Michael A. Taylor in free agency even though he hit a career-high 21 home runs last season and played good defense. Taylor wound up signing with the Pirates late in spring training.

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton was limited to being the designated hitter in 2023 because of knee problems. However, Buxton is healthy again and back at his old position, so there was no room on the roster for Taylor.

Taylor made a strong impression during his one season with the Twins.

“He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” Buxton said. “He’s just a great guy and had a great year for us. It’s too bad there wasn’t a way we could have brought him back.”

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