Recent

0
Phil Irwin was a 21st round pick in 2009, and didn't require a huge bonus to sign. Photo by: David Hague

Phil Irwin Claimed Off Waivers By the Rangers

The Texas Rangers have claimed right-handed pitcher Phil Irwin from the Pirates. Irwin was designated for assignment last week, making room for right-handed reliever Josh Wall.

The move to DFA Irwin was a questionable one, and not an example of good roster management. About 30 minutes after announcing the move, the Pirates announced that they designated Wandy Rodriguez for assignment, creating an open spot on the 40-man roster. You’d think that the Pirates could have designated Rodriguez for assignment, which would have allowed them to keep Irwin.

Furthermore, they had Jason Grilli returning a day later, and ended up designating Vin Mazzaro for assignment on Monday. That means they’ve currently got two open spots on the 40-man roster, all while losing Irwin on waivers.

Irwin isn’t the biggest loss. He had struggled this year, and was removed from the Indianapolis rotation to become a reliever. But he did have one of the best curveballs in the system, and had the potential to be a reliever in the majors, with the shot of pitching long relief or spot starting. Aside from his value, you don’t want to give away any talent for free. It doesn’t seem like the Pirates needed to lose Irwin, especially since they had an open roster spot less than an hour after announcing he was designated for assignment.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

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.

Draft Prospect Watch: Scott Blewett Feeling Fine After Final High School Start

Next Story »

Prospect Watch: Tyler Glasnow Strikes Out 12; Vance Worley Strikes Out 10

  • Lee Young

    Tim….how DARE you criticize Pirate management! Doncha know that you’re just a shill for the FO??

    • deacs

      I’m more than a little confused by this because the reason they didn’t bring up say Chris Dickerson for a few games when the OF was thin is because they didn’t want him on the 40 man roster and would have to DFA someone. The whole point was to hold on to your assets. And so this happens. That being said I don’t think this will come back and bite them in the rear.

      • Lee Young

        agree….they said Irwin had lost his stuff. Sometimes pitchers don’t bounce back 100% from RC surgery.

        Keeping my fingers crossed for JT and Holmes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andy.prough.3 Andy Prough

      I’m not saying management didn’t screw this up royally. But anyone thinking that the Pirates still could get anything of real value for Irwin is probably not facing reality. Face it – you can have all the “stuff” in the world, but at some point you’ve got to perform. I don’t think anyone was knocking down the door trying to trade anything of value for Phil.

      • stickyweb

        True enough Andy, but he is coming off surgery. I think the “give away an asset” argument hinges on Irwin improving to the point where he was before surgery, i.e. a decent starter at AAA that could bring a fringe type prospect who didn’t need to be on the 40 man for a year or 2.

    • lonleylibertarian

      Lee,

      You forgot they are the BMTIB!

      Otherwise they might have cut that awesome Bret Morel loose – imagine how devastating a loss that would have been!

  • Lee Young

    I think Tim needs a special archive for all of his articles that criticize the Pirates. So when it is brought up by the idiots (and it WILL be brought up), him, me or anyone else can just link to it.

  • IC Bob

    I would not criticize the Bucs here I really believe they don’t see him as anymore then organizational depth at this point. I don’t think the Bucs feel he will ever be ML pitcher again and there is no reason keeping him around taking up space at AAA if you already have made up your mind. They did Irvine a huge favor and they cleared up a roster spot for someone who probably better understands his role.

  • Jared

    It is, in fact, odd that the team let him go so easily when they did not have to. However, with Worley pitching well (a dominant start today included) and the organizations off infatuation with Jeff Locke there really does not seem to be a ton of room for Irwin. If several of the Pirate starters continue to struggle and struggle badly with command in a lot of starts Worley could well be a very good replacement. He was very successful in Philadelphia a couple years ago and has pitched well with Indy this far. His production right now may be enough to have cemented Irwin’s departure.

  • Y2JGQ2

    Tim- you’ve mentioned plenty of times where the pirates have done this over the years. They, quite often, don’t spend enough time on the “little things” usually its on the field, but you can see it carries over to the front office, or maybe vice versa. Small, but easily avoidable, roster management errors. There is no way this is more than an error, because there’s no reason you don’t keep him pitching in AAA, literally none. I wish someone would actually ASK Littlefie…..I mean Huntington about these type of things. REAL things, he can ACTUALLY comment on, because he is in charge of them. Food for thought. That being said, yes….it likely won’t matter, we will likely need the roster spot sooner or later, but if you make enough of these small errors over the course of a few years, it has a cost, whether its an extra 1 million dollars wasted, 1 extra win which we get that we wouldn’t have otherwise, and attention to detail and focus need to be at the center of any small market team with long term success.

  • duckwoes

    In regards to Worley, does he have option(s) remaining? If so, he could be a valuable starting pitching depth option going forward

    • Jared

      He is out of options. That is how the Pirates obtained his services.

      • duckwoes

        Thanks, I thought that was the case but I just could not figure out how the Phillies used two options with him. Not that it matters but he must have been added mid season in 2010, optioned to the minors and optioned again for the first part of 2011

  • R Edwards

    Good job NH – lose Irwin, while keeping stiffs like Decker and McGinness on the 40 man roster. Smart move Neal!

    We may lose Mazzaro too, while we keep the awful Gomez on the roster. the only thing that has been worse than this team’s play on the field, has been the personnel decisions for the past 6-9 months. Stupid.

    • smurph

      I agree DFA ing Mazzaro was a mistake. However, with Irwin I think his upside is not that high. Probably less than 50-50 he will pitch in the majors.

  • R Edwards

    Well, there was some good news today in the Pirates organization – Tyler Glasnow is back!!!

  • BallHeadWonder

    Can someone again tell me WHY THE HELL IS BRYAN MORRIS STILL ON THE TEAM??? I don’t think, I know we will lose when he comes in the game!!! He is ABSOLUTELY AWFUL!!!!

Latest Analysis

  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    10 hours ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    2 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    3 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    4 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    6 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    7 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More