Rays journal: Yet another win for Tyler Glasnow, as he’s named AL Pitcher of the Month

Morton gives the Rays a strong start vs. Royals; Wood heads to injured list and Duffy to rehab games.
Published May 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tyler Glasnow has been one of the biggest early-season success stories not just among the Rays but throughout the majors.

And he was recognized Thursday for his performance, voted the American League Pitcher of the Month.

In his first full season with the Rays after being revived by the July 31 trade from Pittsburgh (along with injured outfielder Austin Meadows and prospect Shane Baz for pitcher Chris Archer), Glasnow was 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in six starts, tying for the league lead in wins and ranking second in ERA.

RELATED: AL Rookie of the Month Brandon Lowe leads Rays to 3-1 win

“It feels great,’’ he said, “especially coming up initially in the big leagues and not having too much success. It’s a nice feeling to feel like I belong, for sure.’’

Glasnow, who makes his first May outing Friday in Baltimore, hopes his early-season success is just the start of something.

“I think I can pull some motivation from it, for sure,’’ Glasnow said. “I think the plan now is definitely to keep my head down and keep focused and just don’t be content. Just be ready for the rest of the season.’’

Glasnow attributes his success primarily to a change in mentality, a switch to a more physical, aggressive approach and a marked increase in confidence allowing him to trust that his stuff is good enough.

"I’m happy for him,’’ rotation mate Charlie Morton said. “It’s nice to see him get some recognition and to have a really good month and be able to feel really good about himself.’’

Glasnow is the third straight Rays pitcher to win the award, voted by writers and broadcasters covering league teams. Blake Snell was the August and September choice. The last time a team had three straight winners was 2004, when Minnesota’s Johan Santana was tabbed in July, August and September.

Charlie Morton’s war

The Rays won Thursday’s game 3-1 because Brandon Lowe, minutes after officially being named the AL Rookie of the Month, hit a two-run, two-out homer in the ninth after Daniel Robertson led off the inning with a walk.

But they were in position to win it because of a strong start by Morton, who worked two outs into the seventh, allowing only the one run on five hits and a walk and striking out nine, with some good bullpen work behind him.

Most impressive was Morton’s ability to limit damage stranding runners at third or second in four innings.

“I don’t like to make a habit of it,’’ he said. “It seems like guys are getting on, and I’m doing a decent job of leaving them there, but it’s really hard to do. You’re kind of going up against the odds a little bit, especially when … the leadoff runner is getting to second or third. It’s something I’d prefer to just completely avoid. They’re more stressful pitches when that’s happening.’’

Wood to injured list, Duffy to rehab games

Reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the 10-day injured list after reporting shoulder soreness in is Wednesday return to action, throwing just six pitches. That was his first game since April 18, as he spent a week away tending to the premature birth of his daughter, who is now home and doing well. Wood, who threw several times while in Arkansas, was headed back to St. Petersburg to be checked by team doctors. “We’re hoping it’s not a major concern,’’ manager Kevin Cash said. … Righthander Casey Sadler, who shared the feel-good story for his first call-up of driving through the night to St. Pete with the family camper in tow, was brought back to take Wood’s place, flying in from Durham this time. … Third baseman Matt Duffy, out since spring training with back and hamstring issues, will start a rehab assignment Friday with the Class A Stone Crabs. He’s slated to play seven-10 days and then be re-evaluated.

Quote of the day

“I saw the stat up there that he’s like 30-for-90 against us in his career. I would’ve guessed he was like 90-for-30 against us.”

- Cash, on Royals infielder Whit Merrifield, who seems to have some ownership of the Rays.

Miscellany

* Outfielder Guillermo Heredia, starting in center with Kevin Kiermaier getting a day off, knocked in the first run with a bloop single, his first RBI since April 14.

* Reliever Adam Kolarek, who was born, raised and still lives in the Baltimore area, is excited about pitching at home for just the second time, with a number of relatives coming out.

* Glasnow said he plans to again incorporate the changeup he broke out for the first time in consequential situations in his last start. * The Rays are now 11-4 on the road and 8-1-1 in series play.

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