Jeff Inman made his AFL debut today.

Last week, Phil Irwin left the Arizona Fall League due to tightness in his right forearm.  To replace Irwin on the roster, the Pirates sent Jeff Inman, who made his debut tonight in the fifth inning.  Inman was drafted by the Pirates in the 12th round of the 2009 draft, and was given an over-slot bonus to sign.  Prior to the season, Inman was seen as a potential first round pick, and one of the best college juniors in the draft class.  An injury filled 2009 season lowered his stock, and allowed the Pirates to take him so late.

After injuries kept him out for the entire 2010 season, Inman returned in 2011, pitching mostly in relief.  He threw 33 innings in high-A Bradenton, with a 2.18 ERA and a 16:5 K/BB ratio.  He’s got some great upside, although that’s been held back by his injury history over the last two years, which has been focused around his shoulder.  It’s nice to see him getting some innings in the AFL, especially since he’s missed so much time since being drafted.

Robbie Grossman started in right field tonight and went 0-for-3 with a walk.  It was only the second time this season that Grossman went without a hit, and broke up a streak of six straight multi-hit games.

Jarek Cunningham also started, and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.  That snapped a five game hitting streak for Cunningham.

Mesa plays tomorrow at 12:35 PM EST against Salt River.

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