Tyler Glasnow adjusting to life with the star-studded Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow throws during spring training baseball workouts at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — It's starting to set in with Tyler Glasnow. He looks around the clubhouse and sees LA everywhere, and there's Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. And yes, Shohei Ohtani, too.

Glasnow is getting used to the idea that he is a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“It's cool. It's very surreal,” the Southern California native said Tuesday. “I think it's still not even fully kicked in. I think, as time goes on, I’ll be able to be like, ‘Wow, this is crazy.’ ... Just being in the clubhouse and meeting everyone and seeing LA on all the uniforms is an awesome feeling.”

Glasnow was acquired in a December trade with Tampa Bay that was overshadowed by the rest of Los Angeles' active offseason. Ohtani agreed to a $700 million, 10-year contract, and the Dodgers also signed right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a $325 million, 12-year deal.

The 30-year-old Glasnow received a $136.5 million, five-year contract as part of the trade that brought him back to Southern California. While Ohtani and Yamamoto will be closely watched in their transition to their new club, the Dodgers also are counting on Glasnow to help anchor their rotation.

“He’s very physical,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s a big guy. You know, in watching him throw, there’s a lot of thoughtfulness in every throw. He’s a feel guy. He’s a cerebral guy. He thinks through things, which I like. And then when he makes his throw, there’s a lot of conviction and his ball has a lot of carry in the strike zone.”

Glasnow was selected by Pittsburgh in the fifth round of the 2011 amateur draft and broke into the majors with the Pirates in 2016. The 6-foot-8 right-hander was traded to Tampa Bay in a multiplayer deadline deal in 2018 for Chris Archer.

Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay are two of baseball's smallest markets, but it's a much different situation for Glasnow with the big-budget Dodgers.

“I think with the roster ... I think it's much more, it's World Series and that's the goal obviously,” Glasnow said when asked about the difference in expectations between the Rays and Dodgers. “So it (was) a little different then. I think it was more of like an underdog thing. We always had a good team, but now it's one of the best teams in baseball, so the expectations are definitely higher.”

With a fastball that gets into the upper 90s, along with a nasty curveball and slider, Glasnow has one of baseball's best pitching repertoires. But he has been hampered by injuries.

He had Tommy John surgery on Aug. 4, 2021. He missed the beginning of last season with a strained left oblique, and then set career highs with 162 strikeouts, 120 innings and 21 starts.

“I think that that’s something for us to build on,” Roberts said. “But just certainly just being mindful of the workload in past years. But he’s in a good spot right now. He’s in a good spot and just want him to be himself.”

Glasnow said he used to set a lot of personal goals going into each season, but now he prefers to focus more on each start, figuring everything will take care of itself if that works out. He could be making several of those starts in front of more family and friends than in previous years.

Glasnow's brother lives in Santa Barbara, California, and he also has cousins in the area. His parents live in Arizona. He hasn't started fielding ticket requests just yet, but he's ready.

“They can whenever they want,” Glasnow said with a grin.

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