Pirates notebook: Glasnow still fine-tuning little things

Rob Biertempfel
| Saturday, March 5, 2016, 5:54 p.m.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Ask anyone in Pirates management why Tyler Glasnow will be ticketed for Triple-A Indianapolis in a week or two, and they will mention three things.

Before the team's top prospect is ready for the majors, Glasnow must master his changeup and control the running game. Little things? Sure, but they matter.

All of that came into play Saturday in a 9-6 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Scheduled to work two innings, Glasnow faced nine batters and got five outs.

He allowed two runs, two hits and three walks, balked once and threw a wild pitch. He threw 45 pitches, 22 of them for strikes.

Michael Bourn, who has swiped 40 bases four times in his career, began the first inning with a single. Glasnow balked him to second base. Glasnow then varied his pace and made a toss to second. Bourn stayed put, but Glasnow's concentration on batters might have suffered. After back-to-back walks loaded the bases with one out, A.J. Pierzynski lashed a two-run single up the middle.

“Maybe I'm thinking too much about mechanics and things I've got to work on rather than just going out and competing,” Glasnow said.

Glasnow said he used the changeup “a few times,” mostly in the first inning.

“Just developing more of a feel for it in-game is going to be a big thing,” Glasnow said. “I'll keep throwing it and getting more comfortable with it.”

Glasnow uses a circle-change grip on the pitch. He has had it in his arsenal for a while, but it wasn't until last season the Pirates urged him to throw it more often.

“The more he throws it, the better feel he's going to get,” pitching coach Ray Searage said. “It's a feel pitch — like every other pitch, but more so.

Taillon goes two

Jameson Taillon pitched two innings, walked one and struck out two. One of the two hits Taillon allowed was Tyler Flowers' solo homer to right field.

“That's what falling behind in the count will do to you,” Taillon said. “Fastball, belt-high. That doesn't usually go well.”

Like Glasnow, Taillon likely will make one more Grapefruit League outing before being shipped to minor league camp. Yet, Taillon said he doesn't feel rushed to soak up as much as he can with the clock ticking.

“Maybe a couple of years ago I was,” he said. “But now, I'm just enjoying it. Whatever happens, happens. I had fun out there today and hopefully, I'll get another outing.”

While Glasnow said it can be tough to focus on mechanics while trying to compete in spring games, Taillon has a different approach.

“I'm a little different than him just because I've had two years (while injured) to work on stuff,” Taillon said. “He's had those two be competing. I need to work on competing; he might need to work on mechanics more. My goal this spring is to attack hitters and treat it like a major league game.”

That also explains why several members of the team's brain trust privately have said Taillon is more likely to reach the majors before Glasnow this season.

Around the horn

Sean Rodriguez has hit safely in each of his three games this spring. He's batting .667 (4 for 6). … Michael Morse got an RBI double for the second game in a row. … Elias Diaz had two hits off the bench. He has hit safely in each of his three games. … Trevor Williams made his first outing and tossed a scoreless inning for the save.

Looking ahead

Juan Nicasio will pitch the first two innings Sunday against the Houston Astros. Nicasio was a reliever last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers but is being stretched out as a starter early in camp. Kyle Lobstein — another potential swingman — Arquimedes Caminero, Jared Hughes, John Holdzkom and Wilfredo Boscan also are scheduled to pitch.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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