Buster Olney is reporting this morning that the Pirates are going to push Chad Kuhl’s scheduled start back a day this week and that they’re going to do it by calling Tyler Glasnow up to start in his place (I would link to Olney’s tweet, but he blocked me on Twitter years ago for some reason).
Glasnow was nearly unhittable in June, scattering fifteen hits over seven starts (with three hitless starts of five, six, and seven innings across the month). He also struck out 44 batters in 40 innings in that stretch, but he walked 27 to go with them, which is almost certainly what’s held him back this long. It’s exciting that he’s here now, though, and facing the Cardinals in St. Louis is not an easy assignment, so I assume that this is also a bit of an audition for the second half, as the Pirates try to figure out over the break who will get starts.
Of course, the hidden cost here is that it pushes the rotation against the Cubs to Kuhl/Liriano/Niese. Gerrit Cole was pretty brilliant in Indianapolis last night (3 innings, six strikeouts, two hits, no runs), but he was capped at 48 pitches/3 innings, so he’s probably at least one, and maybe two starts away from being back with the Pirates. It’d also be great for Glasnow to make his debut at PNC or in a night game that more people could see, but there will be time for that later. They clearly had a start to fill before the the break, and Glasnow against the Cards makes as much sense as Brault against the Cubs. No matter the location or gametime, Glasnow’s debut is a huge deal.
UPDATE: Per Rob Biertempfel, Jon Niese is going back to Pittsburgh to have his knee examined, which could be the impetus behind this move. Niese is still scheduled to start Sunday, but inserting Glasnow here gives them a bit more flexibility.