Rays fans got their first taste of starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow’s highly-touted “slutter” Wednesday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The pitch, a supposed combination of a slider and a cutter, will bring together the best of the two individual pitches and is a welcomed addition to an otherwise light arsenal for Glasnow.
Glasnow has primarily been a two-pitch pitcher the last few seasons, relying heavily on his fastball, which sits around 97 MPH, and his 12-6 curveball which sits in the low-mid 80s.
We’ve seen him seldom feature a changeup, which sits in the low 90s, but Glasnow rarely pulls it out of the bag.
However, the “slutter” is something that Glasnow has supposedly been working on since the start of last offseason, and he showed it off in abundance against the Pirates.
It features similar, but not as extreme, vertical movement as Glasnow’s curveball, which ranged from 4.6-6.3 inches of average vertical movement the past two seasons, and significantly more horizontal movement.
Glasnow threw the pitch anywhere between 87-89 MPH on the day, not quite as fast as his changeup, but a nice go-between from his fastball to his righty hook.
You can see it here in this at-bat against Cole Tucker. The young Pirates infielder was baffled in the box and the “slutter”, which looked like it caught the corner on the third pitch of the AB, made Tucker’s knees buckle.
While Rays fans are very much touting Glasnow to be the ace of this team at least in 2021 and hopefully beyond that point, his biggest problem is not his arsenal of pitches, but his control.
We’ve become accustomed to seeing Glasnow pitch a maximum of five, maybe six innings, before he tires himself out and ends up throwing 100+ pitches.
That should be the main focus of the rest of Spring Training and throughout the season, but having an effective third pitch to add to his arsenal is a massive positive.
Regardless, Glasnow’s “slutter” will put the American League on alert in 2021 for sure.