Koda Glover

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Koda Glover
Washington Nationals – No. 30
Relief pitcher
Born: (1993-04-13) April 13, 1993 (age 25)
Monroe, Oklahoma
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
July 20, 2016, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
(through September 17, 2018)
Win–loss record 3–4
Earned run average 4.73
Strikeouts 40
Teams

Koda James Glover (born April 13, 1993) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is of Cherokee descent, and his first name means "bear" in the Cherokee language.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Glover was born in Monroe, Oklahoma,[2] and graduated from Heavener High School in Heavener, Oklahoma.[3] He was a four-time all-conference pick and two-time conference player of the year,[3] posting a 28-4 win-loss record with over 300 strikeouts.[3] During his senior year, he had an 11-0 record with a 1.69 earned run average (ERA) and 114 strikeouts.[3] He also was an all-conference and all-county basketball player in high school.[3]

Glover played college baseball at Eastern Oklahoma State College and Oklahoma State University and underwent Tommy John surgery.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

A career relief pitcher, Glover was selected by the Washington Nationals in the eighth round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft specifically to pitch in relief.[1][4] He made his professional debut that year with the Auburn Doubledays and was promoted to the Hagerstown Suns after three games.[5]

Glover started 2016 with the Potomac Nationals and was promoted to the Harrisburg Senators after not giving up a run in seven games.[6] As the 2016 season progressed, Glover was promoted to play with the Syracuse Chiefs. [1] Prior to his major-league debut, Glover averaged 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings pitched over the course of his minor-league career,[1] and during 2016 he pitched 45⅓ innings in the minors before being called up to play with the Washington Nationals, amassing a won-loss record of 3-0 with six saves, a 2.18 ERA, 52 strikeouts, and 14 walks.[1]

Major leagues[edit]

Glover made his major-league debut with the Nationals on July 20, 2016, as one of the fastest-rising draft picks in Nationals history[1] and the first member of the Nationals' 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 draft classes to reach the majors.[1] Entering the game to pitch the bottom of the ninth inning, he retired all three batters he faced on just four pitches to complete an 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.[7][8] All four pitches were strikes, and at least two of them were 98-mph (158-km/hr) fastballs.[8] Glover suffered a torn hip labrum midway through his time with the major league team, which he attempted to pitch through until disclosing the injury to pitching coach Mike Maddux after giving up a home run on September 26, 2016, at which point he was shut down for the season.[9]

Glover wore #32 in his first season in the major leagues. However, after the Nationals signed Matt Wieters to play catcher for the 2017 season, he voluntarily switched his number to #30 to allow Wieters to continue wearing the #32 he had worn with the Baltimore Orioles.[10] In the early days of the 2017 season, Glover's left hip trouble recurred, and he was placed on the 10-day disabled list with what the Nationals described as a left hip impingement on April 26.[11] The stint was short-lived, as he was activated on May 12. Manager Dusty Baker said he would share closing duties with Shawn Kelley after Opening Day closer Blake Treinen was removed from the role,[12] although Kelley was reportedly to take on primary closing duties, with Glover filling in when he was unavailable.[13]

The Nationals' bullpen struggled over the first quarter of the 2017 season, marked by Treinen's travails in and eventual demotion from the role of closer in April[14] and Kelley subsequently disappointing in the job as his home run and walk rates spiked.[15] By late May, the role fell to Glover, with Baker describing him as the team's "most durable" option despite his earlier time on the disabled list and hip injury the previous season. "We're willing to give it to him as long as he keeps doing the job," said Baker.[16] Glover's improved slider drew national media attention after he struck out Hunter Renfroe to finish off the San Diego Padres with a 96-mph pitch breaking sharply down and away from the batter, the hardest such pitch thrown for a swinging strike all season.[17] He notched four saves in five days toward the end of May while forming a back-end tandem with veteran setup man Matt Albers.[18]

Glover was placed on the disabled list on June 11 for the second time in the 2017 season with back stiffness after a blown save.[19] While Glover initially said he had injured his back while showering, he later amended his story, admitting he had been trying to pitch through right shoulder pain since late May and that an MRI showed severe inflammation of his rotator cuff, pain from which he blamed for "overcompensation" that he said led to a vertebra moving out of place when he slipped in the shower.[20] Glover was shut down from his rehabilitation in West Palm Beach in September after experiencing a setback.[21]

After starting the 2018 season on the disabled list after experiencing discomfort and being shut down with another bout of shoulder inflammation early in spring training, Glover rehabbed with the GCL Nationals and Syracuse Chiefs before being activated and optioned to Syracuse on July 22, 2018.[22]

Pitching style[edit]

Glover employs a four-pitch arsenal, with his fastball velocity topping out in the high 90s, a hard slider (which he sometimes describes as a cutter)[23] that often reaches the mid-90s, and a changeup and curveball he throws less frequently.[24][25][26] Retired baseball scout Bernie Pleskoff, writing of Glover in 2017, described him as having "a mound demeanor that exudes confidence and no-nonsense".[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Janes, Chelsea, "Nationals call up reliever Koda Glover, send Reynaldo Lopez back to Syracuse," washingtonpost.com, July 20, 2016, 6:34 p.m. EDT.
  2. ^ baseball-reference.com Koda Glover, retrieved July 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e okstate.com 55 Koda Glover
  4. ^ Oklahoma State's Freeman, Glover selected in MLB Draft
  5. ^ Glover’s curveball adds to already lethal repertoire
  6. ^ Emerging prospect Koda Glover settles in at Class AA Harrisburg
  7. ^ Mears, Steve (July 20, 2016). "Gio was the stopper, HRs in support & a steal of home by TVT: Postgame". Talk Nats. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Janes, Chelsea, "Three up, three down: Koda Glover works quickly in his major league debut," washingtonpost.com, July 20, 2015, 11:23 p.m. EDT.
  9. ^ Castillo, Jorge (December 10, 2016). "Koda Glover's rapid 2016 rise ended with a torn labrum in his hip". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  10. ^ Janes, Chelsea (February 24, 2017). "Matt Wieters, with an assist from Koda Glover, will wear No. 32 with the Nats". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  11. ^ Dybas, Todd (April 26, 2017). "Koda Glover placed on 10-day disabled list". The Washington Times. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Nationals' Koda Glover: Comes back from DL on Friday". CBS Sports. May 12, 2017. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Nationals' Shawn Kelley: Will be primary closer". CBS Sports. April 21, 2017. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  14. ^ Reddington, Patrick (April 18, 2017). "On Washington Nationals' closer Blake Treinen's growing pains..." Federal Baseball. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  15. ^ Swift, Court (June 18, 2017). "Shawn Kelley is Not Shawn Kelley Anymore". The Nats Blog. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  16. ^ Castillo, Jorge (May 22, 2017). "Koda Glover might be the new Nationals closer". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
  17. ^ Clair, Michael (May 27, 2017). "Watch Koda Glover close out a Nats win with a ridiculous 96-mph slider". MLB.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 
  18. ^ Janes, Chelsea (May 31, 2017). "As Koda Glover and Matt Albers excel, the Nationals' bullpen settles". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  19. ^ Janes, Chelsea (June 11, 2017). "Koda Glover lands on disabled list with back trouble; Joe Blanton reinstated". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  20. ^ Janes, Chelsea (June 28, 2017). "Nationals closer Koda Glover dealing with 'severe' rotator cuff inflammation". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  21. ^ Janes, Chelsea (September 6, 2017). "The latest on injured Nationals reliever Koda Glover". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  22. ^ Kostka, Andy (July 22, 2018). "Koda Glover activated, optioned to Syracuse". The Washington Times. Retrieved July 22, 2018. 
  23. ^ Kerr, Byron (May 22, 2017). "Glover feeds off Strasburg, looks comfortable as closer". MASN Sports. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 
  24. ^ Kerzel, Pete (March 8, 2017). "Blink and you'll miss what Koda Glover is doing this spring". MASN Sports. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 
  25. ^ Collier, Jamal (May 27, 2017). "Glover's 'it' factor? A devastating slider". MLB.com. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 
  26. ^ Janes, Chelsea (March 25, 2017). "The Washington Nationals see Koda Glover as a closer. The question is when". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 
  27. ^ Pleskoff, Bernie (May 29, 2017). "Nationals reliever Koda Glover". FanRag Sports Network. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 

External links[edit]