Phil Irwin Promoted to Altoona

The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted pitchers Phil Irwin and Josh Poytress from Bradenton to Altoona. Irwin’s promotion is expected. He returned to Bradenton over the weekend after missing the early part of the season with an injury. He pitched half the season in Altoona last year and was always ticketed to return to the level.

Poytress has pitched well this year. He started the season in West Virginia, then quickly moved up to Bradenton after giving up one run in 8.1 innings, with an 8:3 K/BB ratio. While with the Marauders, the left-hander threw 16.2 shutout innings, including six shutout innings in relief last night in Bradenton’s 18 inning victory. He’s posted an 11:7 K/BB ratio in Bradenton, along with a .175 BAA.

Poytress was drafted last year in the 18th round out of Fresno State.

Altoona already had one open roster spot. Another was created by transferring right-handed pitcher Kyle Cofield to the DL.

UPDATE: Poytress tweets that he’s not actually going to Altoona. It’s just a paper move to open up roster spots for Bradenton. It’s rare to see a paper move in the upper levels. Usually we only see them in West Virginia. It made more sense for Irwin to be going, although that could also be a paper move.

Rick VandenHurk has been added to the Bradenton roster, and will throw tonight for the Marauders. So obviously that’s where the need for a roster spot came from.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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