Even though Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow has been incredible this season, the club still plans to tamp down his workload as the year progresses, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The towering 25-year-old has recorded a dazzling 1.47 ERA/2.39 FIP with 9.63 K/9, 1.47 BB/9 and a 51.4 percent groundball rate, but at 43 innings pitched, he’s already closing in on last season’s total. “He threw 112 innings last year and we have to monitor that,’’ said manager Kevin Cash, who added: “If we can get him extra days, we’re going to do that. If we’ve got to shave an inning off of him per start, like (Friday) night we could have taken him out after the sixth. Those are things we have to monitor and consider here early in the season.’’ For what it’s worth, Glasnow’s season-high innings total as a professional came as a member of the Pittsburgh organization in 2017, when the formerly wild hurler racked up 155 1/3 frames. A year later, the Pirates traded him and outfielder Austin Meadows to the Rays for righty Chris Archer in what now looks like a heist for the first-place Tampa Bay franchise.
Elsewhere around the American League…
- Astros outfield/first base prospect Yordan Alvarez has gotten off to a scorching start this year at Triple-A Round Rock, where he has slashed an awe-inspiring .418/.505/.923 with 12 home runs in 107 plate appearances. The Astros have taken notice of the 21-year-old’s brilliance, according to president of baseball ops/general manager Jeff Luhnow, who said Saturday that Alvarez “certainly is making it a conversation” within the team to promote him (via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). Luhnow also declared, “It’s pretty clear he can hit right now in the big leagues,” and noted Alvarez would likely slot in as a left fielder for the Astros in order to make a maximum impact. At the same time, though, the Astros already have a more-than-capable regular there in Michael Brantley, and Luhnow cautioned, “The same people who were clamoring for Kyle Tucker to come up because he was destroying AAA pitching are the same people now clamoring for Yordan Álvarez to come up.” That indicates it’s not a slam dunk Alvarez will head to Houston imminently, as Tucker disappointed during a 77-plate appearance major league debut in 2018 and has gotten off to a terrible start in Round Rock this year.
- Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani’s much-anticipated 2019 debut could come as early as Tuesday, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register suggests. Ohtani has been on the shelf thanks to October 2018 Tommy John surgery, which will stop the two-way star from pitching this year but won’t keep him out of the Angels’ lineup. To their credit, Kevan Smith and Albert Pujols – especially the former – have offered respectable DH production in Ohtani’s absence. [UPDATE: Regarding Ohtani’s potential activation, GM Billy Eppler said Sunday (via Fletcher): “We hope to be able to activate on him this trip but he has to get through every step of the progression so we’re not going to say anything till the progression is finished.”]
- Prospect Jesus Lopez, whom the Blue Jays acquired from the Athletics for Kendrys Morales in March, is switching from infielder to catcher, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet tweets. The 22-year-old’s adjusting to his new position in extended spring training, per Davidi.