On Saturday, our esteemed Erin Flynn noted on SI.com that the Washington Nationals are receiving plenty of reinforcements from their farm system. Trea Turner has lived up to his expectations, and the Nationals were recently helped by a solid start from A.J. Cole.
One player Erin mentioned, however, stands out: reliever Koda Glover. Between the majors and the minors this year, the hard-throwing right-hander has been consistently dominant, making a case that the Nationals should rely on him for the postseason.
Perhaps the most indicative example of Dusty Baker’s trust in Glover came on Friday, when he entered the game against the New York Mets with the tying run at the plate and two outs. Glover struck out Jose Reyes to end the inning, and then returned to retire two straight batters in the eighth.
Having an option such as Glover in tight situations will be key in October, and it is to Baker’s credit that he is willing to use the young hurler in tight spots. As I noted earlier this summer, the Nationals have had not the advantage of tapping into their farm system for bullpen help during their previous playoff runs. Glover, who began this season at High-A Potomac, represents a departure from that trend, and all signs point to him being a solid option in October.
A key thing to remember about Glover is that 2016 is essentially his first full season. Between the minors and the majors, he has already thrown 68 innings. That raises some questions about whether fatigue will set in, but Glover’s velocity has held steady throughout the year so, unless, there are some drops over the final weeks, he should have enough left in the tank the postseason.
What also makes Glover an intriguing option for the postseason is his success against hitters on both sides of the plate. His splits in the minors back up this assertion, but what matters more than that sample is his pitch repertoire. Though he can throw four pitches, Glover’s success comes largely from his fastball/slider combination, which is effective enough to generate swings and misses from left and right-handed hitters.
As long as Glover can maintain his stamina over the final weeks, the Nationals should not hesitate to use him in tight spots during the playoffs. His success thus far indicates that he could be ready for the spotlight, giving the Nationals the late-inning reinforcement that could bolster their postseason chances.Tags: Koda Glover, Nationals, Nats, Washington Nationals