Phil Irwin will make his major league debut today for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the club announced this morning. Irwin won 29 games in five seasons of minor league competition, and while wins and losses are not necessarily a good barometer for the developmental process in the minors, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Irwin's presence made his teammates better which translated to success on the field.
Brandon Inge played both games of a Saturday doubleheader for Indianapolis and hit a home run.
"There comes a point in time where guys, their presence makes people around them better," Hurdle said. "I think in the minor leagues his presence on the mound, the stability he brought them on the mound -- guys played better behind him. You don't trick yourself into 29 wins."
Irwin's promotion to Pittsburgh comes at the expense of Josh Harrison, who was optioned to Indianapolis this morning. Harrison departure will leave the Pirates' bench thin for at least a few days.
Tom Bragg is a beat writer and analyst for PiratesProspects.com. He is the former sports editor of the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and has worked at the Charleston Gazette, Charleston Daily Mail and the (Ashland, Ky.) Independent. His freelance work has appeared in newspapers all over West Virginia and he has written for The Associated Press with stories posted to several major media outlets (ESPN.com, SportsIllustrated.com, FoxSports.com). Tom graduated from Marshall University in May 2010 with a degree in Print Journalism. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TomBraggSports