Pirates to extend protective netting at PNC Park

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The Pirates are the latest team to announce the extension of protective netting. President Frank Coonelly announced on Thursday that the netting will be extended all the way near the foul poles in the outfield corners. In a statement to the media, Coonelly said:

As we stated in 2017 when we were one of the first Major League Clubs to extend out protective netting to the ends of the dugouts, fan safety at PNC Park is of paramount importance. It is heartbreaking to see a fan injured by an object leaving the field of play at any ballpark. We have once again engaged our netting experts to reevaluate our protective netting design and to immediately develop a plan to extend the protective netting at PNC Park farther down the baselines. While we have put these efforts on a very fast track, we are committed to developing the right plan for PNC Park — one that will increase fan safety while also preserving and enhancing the overall game day experience to the greatest degree possible. We will share more information with our season ticket holders, fans, and other partners as our plans are finalized.

The White Sox, Nationals, and Rangers have also announced plans to extend netting at their respective ballparks.

Last month, Cubs outfielder Albert Almora hit a line drive foul ball into the stands at Minute Maid Park. The ball unfortunately struck a two-year-old girl in the head. As the fan received medical attention, Almora was visibly shaken up. He and teammate Kris Bryant called for extended protective netting after the game. We later learned that the girl suffered a fractured skull, subdural bleeding, brain contusions, brain edema, and severe seizures.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has said that he prefers to allow teams to decide for themselves whether or not to extend protective netting rather than issue a league-wide directive. The aforementioned four teams should be the start of a majority of teams choosing to extend netting.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.