Pirates' Glasnow to make major league debut Thursday

ST. LOUIS (AP) Hard-throwing pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow will make his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-8 right-hander has a 1.78 ERA in 96 innings at Triple-A Indianapolis and runs his fastball up to 99 mph. He was a fifth-round pick in 2011 and has ranked among the Pirates top prospects since breaking out in Class A in 2013.

The team announced the move Wednesday and Glasnow was already in St. Louis. While he'd been anticipating the call-up, it took a while before the news sank in with his father, who will be at his debut.

''My dad answered (the phone) and I told him,'' Glasnow said. ''And it didn't register right away with him. He was saying, `Yeah, I was just wondering when you are going up.' I said, `I just told you,' and he was like, `Oh my God!'''

The 22-year-old Glasnow will be the second Pittsburgh starter to make his debut in three days after left-hander Steven Brault got a no-decision Tuesday against the Cardinals.

The rotation spots opened in part because Jameson Taillon - another prized pitching prospect who debuted this season - went on the disabled list Sunday with right shoulder fatigue.

Glasnow became a hyped prospect when his velocity jumped into the upper 90s, but the Pirates are excited by the way he's developed his entire repertoire in the minors, including a promising curveball.

''It's a downhill angle,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''It's firm. It's hard. The curveball plays. The changeup he'll use aggressively as well. He's shown the ability to throw those secondary pitches in offensive counts.''

Glasnow was particularly dominant in June. He strung together 13 consecutive hitless innings during two starts on June 17 and June 22, and he hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in a game at Triple-A since May 12. He leads the International League with 113 strikeouts and allowed few hard-hit balls, ranking fourth by allowing 0.38 home runs per nine innings.

''The later starts we figured out it was kind of don't go out and try to throw so many strikes,'' Glasnow said. ''I got into that and got out of my athleticism and started to try and dot up the zone. With me ... the more aggressive I am, the better I am in the strikes zone.''

The Californian will have plenty of friends and family at the park Thursday, including his parents, brother and cousins.

''He's put together a very good volume of work in Triple-A,'' Hurdle said. ''He's continued to grow, understand the skill set that he has and what he needs to do to be successful.''

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