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

Pirates Claim Josh Wall, Designate Phil Irwin For Assignment

The Pittsburgh Pirates have picked up Los Angeles Angels pitcher Josh Wall off waivers and assigned him to AAA Indianapolis. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Phil Irwin has been designated for assignment.

Wall has pitched parts of three seasons in the majors, including two games for the Angels this year. In one inning over two appearances, Wall got hit hard, allowing six runs on five hits and three walks. He also had a difficult time last year with the Dodgers, giving up 17 hits and six walks in seven innings, leading to an 18.00 ERA in six appearances. He is a 27-year-old righty that stands 6’6″, 215 pounds. Wall was a second round pick of the Dodgers in 2005 out of HS. He pitched eight times in AAA this year, with a 4.22 ERA in 10.2 innings. Wall is a hard-thrower that has reached triple digits with his fastball and he mixes in a hard slider.

Irwin began the year as a starter in AAA, then quickly moved to the bullpen, where he has not had any success. He has an 8.22 ERA in 21.2 innings, allowing 27 hits, four homers and 10 walks, to go along with 18 strikeouts.

These moves amount to trading one struggling 27-year-old right-hander for another, although the Pirates would assuredly like to have Irwin clear waivers and return to Indianapolis.


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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • R Edwards

    Although Irwin has struggled greatly this year, he is coming off of an injury and was a promising late blooming prospect 2 years ago beofre the injury. I would have have seen the Pirates waive McGinness, Decker, Snider, Barmes, Gomez, or Volquez to make room for Wall.The Pirates are fortunate that Vin Mazzaro wasn’t picked up, when he was waived.

    • leowalter

      Were the Pirates fortunate,or the other orginizations pretty stupid for not claiming Mazzarro ?

      • Y2JGQ2

        they were pretty stupid

        • Ron Loreski

          The Pirates were extremely fortunate. They should have DFA’d Bryan Morris at the end of spring training. Jared Hughes and Duke Welker are better for the last spot in the bullpen because they have options. And quite frankly, I think Hughes is much better than Morris.

    • Y2JGQ2

      why? Noone will claim Irwin the way he’s pitched this season. There is no risk here. Not to say I wouldn’t rather DFA Snider, Barmes, or Volquez either… fact pretty much all of those players suck except decker and Gomez, they still have value. DFA all of them

      • R Edwards

        Decker is terrible – .230 at Indy – doesn’t even start all the time. McGinness is another player who could be waived, and no one would likely sign him. Is Morel on the 40 man? I hope not.

  • IC Bob

    Don’t worry R Edwards. No one is picking up Irwin. He is far far away from being effective even at AAA. If the Pirates want him they can keep him at Indy. Anyone of the other guys you mentioned could still be cut but there day is later in the season. My guess a couple more wandy like outings and Volquez will be the next to go.

    • smurph

      Not necessarily a bad move. It is another case of believing they might be able to revive the career of a highly-rated arm. You are right, bob. One, possibly two more bad outings for Volquez, and he is likely gone. I actually thought he pitched pretty well against the Yankees, but the HR is the big equalizer in the Major Leagues. If he can’t eliminate the HR, he won’t be effective.

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