The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the perfect situation for any young pitcher trying to break into the big leagues. The Pirates saw a lot of injuries, especially during the first three months of the season, leaving a lot of rotation spots up for grabs. Phil Irwin was one of those young pitchers who got an early shot at the majors, making his debut on April 14th. The debut didn't go well, with Irwin giving up four runs in 4.2 innings of work. What happened after that was even worse.
Irwin missed a few weeks after that start, made one more appearance in Triple-A at the end of April, then missed the remainder of the season after undergoing ulnar nerve relocation.
"It was probably the most bittersweet moment of my life," Irwin said. "You finally get up there, and get a chance, and then it ended up being one of my last starts of the year."
The procedure Irwin underwent can be summed up as half of the Tommy John surgery, without the ligament replacement. Irwin had Tommy John su...
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.