3 Phillies trades that will hurt this season after Rhys Hoskins, pitching injuries
By Matt Rappa
2. Phillies traded Cole Irvin to the Oakland A's
Just as the Phillies are dealing with finding a replacement for Rhys Hoskins at first base, they similarly will need solutions to fill gaps in their starting rotation early in the season.
Behind Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Taijuan Walker, there are no definite answers for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. There was a point this spring when the Phillies may have considered using six starters to help keep everyone healthy, but that is not even a likely option at this point.
Nick Nelson (hamstring), Andrew Painter (elbow), Cristopher Sánchez (triceps), and Ranger Suárez (elbow) are all going through their respective injuries — and it is not exactly known when any will be fully healthy and ready to compete.
Bailey Falter seems to be a lock for one of the current rotation openings. Beyond him, it is anyone's guess with just days until the season begins. One name the Phillies might like to have back in the mix is fellow left-hander Cole Irvin. Back in January 2021, the Phillies traded Irvin to the Oakland Athletics for cash considerations.
The 29-year-old was a durable starter for the A's the past two seasons — recording 62 starts, albeit posting a 19-28 record, 4.11 ERA, and 1.244 WHIP ratio. The Phillies' former fifth-round draft selection was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles this past offseason and is expected to be one of the American League East club's rotation mainstays in the coming campaign.
While Irvin's numbers are not appealing at first glance, just having him there to eat much-needed innings would have been a perfect commodity for the Phillies to have, especially given their current lack of starting pitching depth.