Courtesy of Point Park University

Friday Insider: Holmes is the next Glasnow? ☕


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What if I told you the next Tyler Glasnow was already in the Pirates' fold?

OK, what if I further told you that people who could actually evaluate such a thing -- meaning not Neal Huntington or anyone in the current baseball operations -- are the ones who feel this way?

OK, so it's ... uh, Clay Holmes.

No, really.

Amid a week of endless fuss over firings, hirings and other potential firings at 115 Federal, I also invested some fun time in discussing real baseball with real baseball players, and it was a comparative blast. Maybe the day will come again soon when more Pittsburghers are back to discussing real baseball, provided Bob Nutting and now Travis Williams make the right move and completely clean house.

We talked about possible lineups for 2020, possible rotation options, a possible new closer ... and Holmes.

No, it sure wasn't me who brought him up. Not after his 35 appearances in his age-26 season wrought a 5.58 ERA, a 1.62 WHIP, 36 walks and nine hit batsmen -- not a misprint on that one -- in 50 innings. From this perspective, he looked no less putrid than he probably looked to you.

Not so with his fellow participants in the field.

One player with whom I spoke brought up Holmes unsolicited in saying, "He's Glasnow. That's what he is. He's Glasnow when he was with us." Which, candidly, sounded about right. Except for the part where Glasnow got good the moment his plane touched down in St. Pete.

I sought more, and the player came back, "He'll bring it at 100. You'll see. If they ever just let him pitch and drop the two-seam, he'll be at 100. He'll be unhittable. You'll see. We've all seen it."

Another player also brought up Holmes on his own. Virtually identical sentiment. Neither's a pitcher, but he, too, described it as a common sentiment in the clubhouse.

All I'll add is that, in Holmes' final seven appearances, he did put forth a 1.02 WHIP in 7 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking only three. Also, for whatever it's worth in a small sample of hollow September ball, he did stay away from the sinker and, for once, stopped nibbling and fired right into the zone in allowing his natural movement to take over.

Whatever. We'll see. Thought I'd share.


• Not really sure what to do with this information I got Thursday night, but this certainly is the place for this sort of thing: Buck Showalter would welcome a chance at being the next GM in Pittsburgh, should the job, indeed, open up. No, not manager but GM. Showalter was a finalist for the Phillies' managerial opening that earlier Thursday went to Joe Girardi, and Showalter's never held a GM post, but this wasn't smoke being blown. This was serious. -- DK

• Yes, Huntington and Kyle Stark are still being entrusted, for now, with the Pirates' search for a manager. No, I don't know why. -- DK

• Huntington told members of his baseball operations staff on a conference call yesterday that it's business as usual. Which almost immediately made the rounds to the point that it made it here. -- DK

• Almost nobody in baseball operations at any non-management level has a contract for 2020, and people are getting understandably jittery. That includes the remaining major-league coaching staff, though I've been told by several sources that the dual hitting coaches, Rick Eckstein and Jacob Cruz, are a good bet to be back. That'll be immensely popular with the players. -- DK

• I wrote late Wednesday that Ogden Nutting, Bob's father, is livid with the state of the franchise. Some readers, somewhat to my surprise, took that to mean that Ogden was pushing the son to action. I'm assured that the action currently taking place is all coming from Bob, as I'd thought upon writing it. No drama on this front. -- DK

• Feels like it's worth repeating: Huntington's job is anything but safe. I believe that more strongly now than 24 hours ago. But Nutting and Williams apparently would prefer that Williams does his own due diligence. I'll obviously ask more about this at the Monday introduction at PNC Park. -- DK

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