Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 10/22/14
According to Kristy Robinson and Rob Biertempfel, Phil Irwin will get the call to the majors to make his major league debut tomorrow afternoon against the Reds. He will replace Wandy Rodriguez, who will miss the start due to his strained left hamstring. Irwin posted very strong numbers in the minors last season (mostly in Altoona). The big righty was promoted to Indy at the end of the season and pitched well there, and turned some heads in spring training for a while this year as well. Just as he seemed to be getting some attention as a dark-horse rotation candidate, he had a bad outing and was sent to minor league camp. He recovered to deliver a strong start in his first and only outing with Indy this year. Year Age Tm Lg Lev W L ERA G GS CG SHO IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB 2009 22 State College NYPL A- 1 2 2.12 10 7 0 0 29.2 1.112 8.2 0.3 1.8 9.7 5.33 2010 23 West Virginia SALL A 6 3 3.35 23 20 0 0 113.0 1.053 7.9 0.7 1.6 8.8 5.55 2011 24 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-A+ 13 4 3.14 25 24 0 0 140.2 1.137 8.8 0.8 1.4 7.0 4.95 2011 24 Bradenton FLOR A+ 5 0 2.02 10 10 0 0 53.1 1.106 7.9 0.5 2.0 6.8 3.33 2011 24 Altoona EL AA 8 4 3.81 15 14 0 0 87.1 1.156 9.4 0.9 1.0 7.1 6.90 2012 25 3 Teams 3 Lgs AA-AAA-A+ 8 7 2.83 23 21 3 1 130.1 1.097 8.2 0.6 1.7 8.1 4.88 2012 25 Bradenton FLOR A+ 1 0 1.80 1 1 0 0 5.0 0.400 3.6 0.0 0.0 10.8 2012 25 Altoona EL AA 4 7 2.93 18 16 3 1 104.1 1.093 8.4 0.6 1.5 7.2 4.88 2012 25 Indianapolis IL AAA 3 0 2.57 4 4 0 0 21.0 1.286 8.6 0.4 3.0 12.0 4.00 2013 26 Indianapolis IL AAA 1 0 1.50 1 1 0 0 6.0 0.833 6.0 0.0 1.5 7.5 5.00 5 Seasons 29 16 3.00 82 73 3 1 419.2 1.096 8.3 0.6 1.6 8.0 5.12 AA (2 seasons) AA 12 11 3.33 33 30 3 1 191.2 1.122 8.8 0.8 1.3 7.1 5.63 AAA (2 seasons) AAA 4 0 2.33 5 5 0 0 27.0 1.185 8.0 0.3 2.7 11.0 4.13 A+ (2 seasons) A+ 6 0 2.01 11 11 0 0 58.1 1.046 7.6 0.5 1.9 7.1 3.83 A (1 season) A 6 3 3.35 23 20 0 0 113.0 1.053 7.9 0.7 1.6 8.8 5.55 A- (1 season) A- 1 2 2.12 10 7 0 0 29.2 1.112 8.2 0.3 1.8 9.7 5.33 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 4/13/2013. Irwin is well known for an excellent curveball (GIFs here, here, and here), but doesn’t quite have the stuff to project as a top-of-the-rotation guy. Still, his good control and solid numbers across the board certainly make him deserving of a shot in the majors…and if he can come anywhere close to replicating his minor league numbers, the 21st-rounder from Ole Miss could find his way into the rotation for quite a while. If Rodriguez is OK after missing just the one start, Irwin will probably go right back down to AAA, but if he holds his own I don’t see many reasons why the Bucs should keep Jonathan Sanchez around instead of him. Irwin will probably take Bryan Morris‘ place on the 25-man roster (unless Wandy goes on the DL, which doesn’t sound likely at this point). Morris was called up yesterday to replace Chris Leroux, who was DFA. Morris is another promising pitcher that’s been solid in Altoona and Indy recently and I like him much more than Leroux, but he’ll probably be back in Indy after tonight’s game.
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