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How Rays’ Tyler Glasnow is working to stop being a big tipper

Rays Journal: After the ALDS incident in Game 5 against the Astros, the right-hander is varying the positioning of his hands. Also, Charlie Morton’s good deed of the day.
 
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20), right, and Tampa Bay Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud (37) walk back to the dugout after the first inning in Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20), right, and Tampa Bay Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud (37) walk back to the dugout after the first inning in Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published March 5, 2020|Updated March 5, 2020

PORT CHARLOTTE — Pitchers have different items to address in spring starts.

So besides airing out his fastball and mixing in some changeups in Wednesday’s 9-5 win over the Blue Jays, Tyler Glasnow was also working on the positioning of his hands to make sure he is not tipping his pitches.

That was an issue for the Rays right-hander at times last season, most critically in the fifth and final game of the AL Division Series in Houston. The Astros noticed his hands and glove came set higher for a fastball and lower for a curve in the Rays’ 6-1 loss.

“I’m making sure I’m conscious of mixing it up,’’ Glasnow said. “If it is low, I can just kind of flip flop ’em to where I’m not tipping. I’m just kind of different every time. I think that’s an easier route for me to go.’’

Glasnow has also made adjustments to slightly shorten his delivery, which he feels will make him more consistent in his hand position or at least more random. “I don’t think I’m tipping at all,’’ he said. “I’ll look at video (Thursday), but I’m fairly certain that it’s taken care of.’’

Adding something else to the prepitch checklist would seem like a burden, but Glasnow said he doesn’t have to think about it: “Once you get into that rhythm, it kind of takes care of itself.’’

Glasnow threw 38 pitches (27 strikes) over 1⅔ innings in his second spring start, and he seemed to most enjoy the Charlotte Sports Park radar gun working for the first time this spring. Glasnow hit 99 mph four times in the first inning and 98 six other times, then joked (we think), “What’s the point of pitching if there’s no radar gun?”

Game details: Rays 9, Jays 5

Five first-inning walks and two-run hits by Hunter Renfroe and Kevin Kiermaier gave the Rays (7-4-2) a quick 4-0 lead. … Yoshi Tsutsugo foiled the Jays shift by dribbling a hit down the third-base line in the third, but he wasn’t planning it that way. “The ball just happened to go that way,’’ he said, via interpreter Louis Chao. Tsutsugo said he was shifted against often in recent seasons in Japan but don’t expect him to drop any bunts. … Snyder said that Diego Castillo, who had his fourth outing without an earned run, looked “basically in midseason form” and that nonroster right-hander John Curtiss “definitely continues to open our eyes.’’ … Jays pitchers walked eight and hit three Rays.

Good deed of the day

Furthering his reputation as one of the game’s best teammates, Charlie Morton bought Mizzen+Main performance fabric dress shirts for all Rays players and staff, many of whom were quite happy to get them Wednesday.

Miscellany

Minor-league outfielder Garrett Whitley won’t need surgery to repair the multiple facial fractures sustained Monday from being hit by a foul ball, the Rays said, and he could start the season on time. … The Rays are completing contracts with their players who don’t yet qualify for arbitration. … Cash missed the media session after the 3-hour, 18-minute game for good reason — to get back to St. Petersburg for son J.D.’s youth-league game.