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Rays’ Tyler Glasnow dominant against Braves

Rays notes | One hit over four innings against Atlanta’s “A” lineup makes for a good day for the right-hander.
Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow had a strong outing on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves.
Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow had a strong outing on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves. [ MARC TOPKIN | Times ]
Published Mar. 11, 2021
Updated Mar. 11, 2021

NORTH PORT — Tyler Glasnow on Thursday looked the way the Rays hope he will most days he takes the mound this season — confident and dominant.

“That’s the Glas you want to see out there,” catcher Kevan Smith said. “Not thinking, trusting his stuff, just being athletic and just being confident with all of his pitches.”

Facing Atlanta’s A-list hitters, Glasnow was dazzling over four innings, striking out seven while allowing one hit and one walk. He retired 11 straight after a leadoff infield single, throwing 34 of his 52 pitches for strikes.

Most significantly, he complemented his usual upper-90s fastball with extensive and effective use of his off-speed pitches, specifically the slider he added during the offseason, in addition to his changeup and curve.

“I felt really good,” Glasnow said. “Timing was good. I think just incorporating the slider and the changeup made everything a lot easier. I think just the confidence of knowing that I have some other stuff I can throw for strikes kind of gets hitters off balance, and I just have more confidence going into the at-bat.”

Manager Kevin Cash was pleased, not just with what Glasnow did, but how he did it.

“The slider looked good early on, the fastball was there, he was able to get back in the count (when falling behind),” Cash said. “To show that much trust with the new pitch is very encouraging. … Glas looked outstanding. It was really good to see.”

The slider has been a work in progress, and Glasnow cited the improvement he has made with guidance from pitching coach Kyle Snyder, specifically in throwing it more like a cut fastball, aiming to get it in the 86-90 mph range.

Given how good his pitches were, and how bad he made some quality hitters look, Glasnow had reason to be pleased.

“It’s still obviously spring for everybody, but just for me, I think my mentality today ... was I need to treat this like a regular game,” he said. “So it led to a lot more consistent times for me, and that’s something Kyle always talks to me about. So I’m just happy I executed that, and then the stuff just follows along. So I’m definitely encouraged by today.”

Game details: Braves 2, Rays 0

The Rays (4-6) had only three hits, including Yoshi Tsutsugo’s first of the spring after an 0-for-8 start. Cash noted some good swings by Mike Brosseau and Yandy Diaz. … Home runs by Ronald Acuna Jr. (off Collin McHugh) and prospect Michael Harris (off Pete Fairbanks, and wind-aided) accounted for the only runs. … McHugh, in his first action since 2019, worked two innings. … Minor-league outfielder Ryan Boldt’s catch of a line drive was the defensive highlight, along with Smith catching Dansby Swanson trying to steal.

Miscellany

• Fairbanks was thankfully vague in providing details of the food-poisoning issue that kept him from pitching Sunday: “Nobody needs to know about how bad it was. Just say, if you’ve had food poisoning, stomach bug, anything of that nature, just go as bad as you can and it was that.”

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• Cash said Brent Honeywell is progressing next to live batting practice in his buildup and return from a fourth elbow procedure and has looked good in doing so but is unlikely to pitch in any spring training games, Cash said.

• Chris Archer makes his first spring appearance Friday, slated to work at least into the second inning. “Some of these guys we’ve got to progress with their buildup, and Archer is a pretty key component to that,” Cash said.