Phillies: Five pitchers to keep an eye on in spring training
Swirvin’ Irvin just turned 25 and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of the University of Oregon. He has moved quickly through the minor league system, as is expected for a high draft pick after spending four years in college refining his skill set.
In 2017, he split time in both High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading, posting a 9-9 record with a 3.39 ERA in 151.1 innings. In a full 2018 season with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, he posted a 14-4 record with a 2.57 ERA in 26 games. Unlike any Phillies pitchers last year, he did pitch a complete game and dominated with a WHIP of 1.054.
Ask anyone, that’s pretty impressive. I had been rooting for him to receive a call up and get a look at the end of the year after the Phillies struck their way out of the playoff race.
The Phillies gave him a non-roster spring training invite, so he will have some time with the team. The problem is that he is not currently on the 40-man roster, so if he were to impress by all means and make the team as a back-end starter, the Phillies would have to take someone else off the 40-man.
Irvin is a left-handed starter, something that the Phillies have not seen for real in a long time (sorry, I don’t count Ranger Suarez’s spot starts). If they ultimately decide not to go after Dallas Keuchel, Irvin could turn out to be a pretty nice long-term solution. If the team does sign another starter, Irvin would make a solid trade chip moving forward.