3 things that Tyler Glasnow must do to ensure a successful 2024

Los Angeles Dodgers v Kiwoom Heroes
Los Angeles Dodgers v Kiwoom Heroes / Masterpress/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one day away from opening their regular season against the San Diego Padres in Seoul.

It was recently announced that new Dodger Tyler Glasnow will start the series opener and try to put the boys in blue in the driver’s seat. Here’s three things that the California native can do to ensure both a successful first start and campaign.

How can Dodgers' Tyler Glasnow impress in season-opening start in Seoul (and beyond)

Stay Healthy

Yes, this one is obvious, but it is also particularly important for Glasnow. He’s undergone Tommy John surgery twice, and most recently dealt with a left oblique strain in 2023. Given he’s a high velocity pitcher who’s “all or nothing” in terms of his approach, it will be key for him to remain healthy and cognizant of how he’s recovering. It would not be surprising to see LA give him some extra rest when possible.

Get To The Middle Innings

MLB has changed dramatically over the past 10 years alone. While some may say the bulk of these changes have come with rule changes, format tweaks, or the evolution of hitters, the way starters operate has also shifted dramatically.

Once upon a time, starting pitchers were somewhat expected and encouraged to conserve their energy throughout the course of a start in order to get towards the seventh or eighth inning. Now, pitchers are more likely to only toss four or five innings, even in the midst of a solid outing.

Of course, getting towards the middle innings is key for any starter, but it may be particularly important for Glasnow and a Dodgers rotation that is largely unproven.

The former Tampa Bay Ray set his career high in MLB innings at 120 in 2023. It was only the second time he’s thrown at least 100 innings in a major league season, and the first such occasion since 2018, when he spent time with both the Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Yoshinobu Yammamoto, Bobby Miller, and some of LA’s other arms are either young or unproven at the major league level. This means that Glasnow will have to make the most of his starts, and ensure that his outings don’t place unnecessary burden on the bullpen.

Miss Barrels

For as good as Glasnow was in 2023, there was still some room for improvement. According to Baseball Savant, he ranked in the 11th percentile in terms of hard hit% and the fourth percentile in terms of barrel%.

Glasnow can pitch to contact, and ranked in the 84th percentile in terms of GB%, but also ranked in the 97th percentile in terms of K%. All of this is to say that while he can get hitters out in a variety of ways, he’ll have to continue to mix his pitches well enough to prevent hitters from exploiting a pattern and eventually squaring one up during his second or third time through the order.

In theory, Glasnow could achieve this by using his curveball more. Last season, he utilized the pitch roughly 21 percent of the time, and held hitters to an .095 average with it. His curveball had a 29.7 put away %, the highest mark among his four pitches.