Phillip Andrew Irwin
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
- School University of Mississippi
- High School Christian Brothers High School (Memphis)
- Debut April 14, 2013
- Final Game July 8, 2014
- Born February 25, 1987 in Germantown, TN USA
Pitcher Phil Irwin made his big league debut in 2013.
Irwin was 9-2 with a 0.97 ERA in 2005 in high school and made All-State; he was 21-4 overall in high school. He had Tommy John surgery in between high school and college. He then went 12-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 33 games in college, where he was a teammate of Lance Lynnand Drew Pomeranz. His 8 wins as a junior tied him for 7th in the Southeastern Conference.
He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 19th round of the 2009 amateur draft; the scout was Darren Mazeroski. He was 1-2 with a 2.12 ERA in 10 games that summer for the State College Spikes, fanning 32 in 29 2/3 IP. In 2010, he was with the West Virginia Power, going 6-3 with a 3.35 ERA and 111 K to 20 BB in 113 IP. He was 7th in the South Atlantic League in ERA, between Collin McHugh and Brody Colvin. Phil split 2011 between the Bradenton Marauders (5-0, 2.02 in 10 G) and Altoona Curve (8-4, 3.81), with 109 strikeouts to 22 walks on the year. He led the Pirate farm system in victories, one ahead of Kyle McPherson. He was also 3rd in ERA among pitchers with 100+ IP, after Brett Lorin and McPherson. He tied Mike Colla for 4th in the chain in whiffs, behind McPherson, Jeff Locke and Zack Von Rosenberg. He then tossed 2 1/3 innings in the Arizona Fall League, allowing two earned runs.
Irwin started 2012 on the disabled list due to a forearm injury. He recovered to pitch well for Bradenton (W, 1 R in 5 IP), Altoona Curve (4-7, 2.93) and Indianapolis Indians (3-0, 2.57, 28 K in 21 IP). FOr the year, he had a 2.83 ERA and 117 K to 24 BB in 130 1/3 IP. In the playoffs, he fanned 11 in a 2-hit, 7-inning, scoreless effort to beat the Charlotte Knights. He was 5th in the Pirate chain in ERA and tied Nick Kingham for 6th in strikeouts. He won his first appearance of 2013, allowing one run in six for Indianapolis. When Wandy Rodriguez missed a start for the 2013 Pirates due to injury, Irwin was called up, as he was the Indians starter whose turn in the rotation was due. As Rodriguez did not go on the DL, Josh Harrison was sent down to open a roster space.
In Irwin's major league debut, he allowed a leadoff single to Shin-Soo Choo then walked both Zack Cozart (on four pitches) and Joey Votto (on five pitches). Brandon Phillips then hit a two-run single before Irwin finally retired someone, getting Jay Bruce on a double play grounder. He allowed three more runs, two more walks and four more hits before leaving with two outs in the 5th, replaced by Jeanmar Gomez. He left with a 5-0 deficit against Mat Latos, but the Bucs rallied for a 10-7 win, giving Irwin a no-decision. Irwin was sent back to AAA after his spot start; in an odd twist, a former college teammate, Alex Presley was called up to take his roster spot. It was his only major league that season and only once more in the minors as an arm injury got the best of him.
He started 2014 back in AAA With Indianapolis but struggled badly, as his ERA was at 8.72 after 10 appearances. The Pirates placed him on waivers to clear a spot on their 40-man roster and he was claimed by the Texas Rangers on May 28th. He was assigned to the Round Rock Express of the Pacific Coast League where he was 4-1, 2.41 after 7 games when the Rangers called him up to the Show. He made his first appearance for the Rangers as a starter against the Houston Astros on July 8, 2014 giving up 3 runs in 4 innings and being charged with an 8-3 loss. He was the 1,000th player to appear for the franchise since their debut as the Washington Senators in 1961.
Sources include 2013 Pirates Media Guide