When we last checked in on Tyler Glasnow, he was still tipping his pitches during Spring Training after doing so in Game 5 of the 2019 ALDS. Fortunately, after six starts in the 2020 season, Glasnow appears to have eliminated any signs of pitch tipping in addition to making changes to his motions on the mound.
To get an idea of what has been eliminated, let's first look at what the issue was initially. Glasnow had a tendency of showing the hitter what pitch he was likely to throw based on the positioning of his glove when he got set before a pitch.
For fastballs, he would set his glove up higher than he would for curveballs. Visually, let's look at that below.
While we thought this was an issue that might have been mitigated during the offseason, this same tipping issue was prevalent during Spring Training as well, with his glove positioning while getting set still tipping pitches.
So, now that the 2020 season is underway, how has Glasnow adjusted?
Well, when the Rays were in New York early in the season, there was a very strong feeling that the Yankees thought they knew what pitch Glasnow was about to throw, as the New York hitters seemed to time their swings based on the positioning of his glove. Placed high, sit heat, placed low, sit back.
Fortunately, Glasnow adjusted and threw different pitches regardless of which glove placement he was using, so for at least then, it seemed like he was aware of the issue and adjusted mid-game.
But having different set-points and throwing different pitches out of the glove would not be the final solution.
Before we talk about the most recent change, let’s look at what Glasnow has eliminated altogether from his pre-pitch routine.
Prior to getting set last season, and even in his first few starts this season, Glasnow would do a (forgive me) oompa-loompa-esque squat, regardless of if there were runners on or not.
As you’ll see in this next GIF, that motion has been completely eliminated (and has been since Glasnow’s August 13th start against the Boston Red Sox where Glasnow’s delivery was all over the place. While the start against Boston may have been his worst of the season, he could have very well used it to adjust to the changes made, as he’s been much better in his two starts since.
Accordingly, this is the new normal for Glasnow:
That brings us to Glasnow’s most important change: his glove placement.
Opposing hitters will no longer be able to guess the pitch, as Glasnow now sets his glove at the same spot just below the Rays logo on his jersey.
After watching every pitch thrown by Glasnow over his last few starts, I can attest that the glove placement has been consistent across every pitch, which means the issue of pitch tipping might finally be over.
Now it’s just staying the course with the adjustments made, and hoping for a much better second-half of this short season for Glasnow.