Phillies: Which players still need to step it up?
Left-handed pitcher Cole Irvin continues to show that he can get better with time.
Irvin has appeared in three games so far in spring training, all out of the bullpen. He gave up one earned run off of two hits in two innings against the Detroit Tigers on February 22.
His following game got off to a rough start on February 27 against the Boston Red Sox where he gave up three earned runs off of three hits in his first inning of relief. That included giving up a three-run home run to Jonathan Arauz.
But, Irvin settled down after that, pitching his most recent four innings without giving up a single run, hit or walk.
In fact, Irvin has yet to give up a walk during spring training.
Overall, he has a record of 2-0 with four earned runs given up off of five hits over seven innings.
Irvin appears to be proving himself in spring training, particularly with his most recent time on the mound.
While his pre-season performances should be enough to earn a spot on the roster, where he could pitch out of the bullpen, a starting spot is not out of the question.
Irvin is a starter. His first three games for the Phillies last season came as starter, where he gave up only one earned run over seven innings against the Kansas City Royals before posting gradually worse stats over his next two outings.
Major league opportunities out of the bullpen proved well in September, showing that perhaps he just needed a bit of time.
Irvin started 72 of his 78 games in the minors and 47 of 49 games in NCAA. It’s not a matter of if, but when, he will get a starting spot with the Phillies.
Behind Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Jake Arrieta is a close battle between pitchers who have struggled at times. Irvin’s next thing to prove is that he should get a spot at the back of the rotation sooner rather than later.