By Colin Dunlap


PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Just end this already.

Yes, end it before it starts.

Go ahead, Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington and all the men making the big-time decisions with the Pittsburgh Pirates this season … just go ahead and do it; go ahead and name Tyler Glasnow the fifth starter.

Has he scuffled when the bright lights of Major League Baseball shined down on him? Certainly a little bit, yes.

Does he have miles to go holding runners on? Indeed, no question.

Is there room for growth for this 6-foot-8 manchild who has trouble repeating his delivery and forming a steady repetitive motion? Yes, of course.

Does he have anything else to prove at the Class AAA level, however? From where I sit, the answer is an emphatic, “no.”

So let’s get on with the shenanigans and nonsense — just go ahead and say (as camp opens up or is in the early stages) that Glasnow has a spot in the rotation.

Would I have liked the Pirates to go out and have grabbed another proven, veteran arm in the off-season? Yep.

But they didn’t. It’s a shame that they didn’t, but they didn’t.

So as it stands now, it looks as if Ivan Nova, Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and probably Chad Kuhl have spots leaving Glasnow, Drew Hutchison, Steven Brault and Trevor Williams to fight for the final place.

If at 23 Glasnow isn’t ready to be thrown into the fire of starting a season with the big club, when will he ever be? That is to say, there is a method to getting this thing over and done with before the “competition” even gets underway.

First, definitively granting Glasnow the fifth job right now would — in my estimation at least — take some of the pressure off him that he might throw on himself. One of the knocks on him last year in Bradenton in camp was that Glasnow threw each time out with an inordinate amount of pressure placed on himself because he felt like he was auditioning. He never allowed himself to simply go out there and pitch. That said, what would be the negative impact of giving him a spot in the rotation now and pulling that pressure totally off him and have him ramp up — both physically and mentally — for the expectations that he’s going to go through the rigors of a full season with the Pirates?

And you know what, if it doesn’t work after a few starts, there wouldn’t be much harm. The resolution is simple if after a couple starts this season it is obvious Glasnow needs more minor league seasoning – you simply send him back to Class AAA and flop him for one of the guys who was just below fifth-starter level in Pittsburgh when you brought the team North.

To me, this is all a no-brainer. This is all something that is low-risk but his a high reward: The organization could give a major vote of confidence in one of the major pieces of the future and it could turn into him being ultra-focused in Spring Training and then in through the early part of the season.

To have Tyler Glasnow involved in some competition in Bradenton would be a farce. He isn’t just a big part of the future, he should be a big part of the now.

He should be the fifth starter and there really shouldn’t even be that much debate.

Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at colin.dunlap@cbsradio.com. Check out his bio here.

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