Many of you may have noticed that Phil Irwin hasn’t pitched in the minors since his Major League debut. The Pirates optioned Irwin back down to Triple-A 11 days ago, but he has yet to appear in a game with Indianapolis.
I checked on his status and learned that Irwin had some arm fatigue. The Pirates decided to give him some extra rest as a result. There’s no date for Irwin to return, but he’s also not on the Triple-A disabled list. He’s not listed among the scheduled starters over the next four games, with Kyle Waldrop taking his place in the rotation.
The arm fatigue isn’t something that should just be ignored. Irwin has had arm issues in the past. He had Tommy John surgery in college, and a few minor injuries that cost him time in his pro career. That includes a forearm injury during the 2011 Arizona Fall League, which he aggravated in Spring Training last year, causing him to miss the start of the season.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Here’s hoping for the best for Irwin. Get well soon, Phil!
Odd that they did not make some kind of announcement or put him on the DL.