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2019 Phillies in Review: Cole Irvin

Swirvin’ Irvin wasn’t that useful for the Phillies in 2019.

Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Numbers

2-1, 41.2 IP, 5.83 ERA, 31 K, 13 BB, 1.392 WHIP, 0.1 fWAR

The Good

Cole Irvin had a couple of good outings this season. His major league debut was a beauty.

The Bad

Cole Irvin isn’t a major league pitcher. Maybe he could be, with more development and a good pitching coach (I’m an optimist). But he isn’t right now. He shouldn’t have even been playing in the majors at all this season, but injuries and inconsistencies with both starters and relievers at the major league level forced the Phillies to call him up anyway. So, while his 2019 season looks bad, it’s not entirely his fault and it’s not fair to put the blame solely on him. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t good. But he was a AAA player forced to perform out of his league and for that we should all cut him a little slack.

See, here’s the thing: Cole Irvin is an example of a symptom of the underlying issue that the Phillies had this year. Instead of acquiring good pitching in the offseason and at the trade deadline, the Phillies decided to roll with a hodge-podge of AAAA starters, an exhausted Aaron Nola and the ghost of Jake Arrieta. Bringing up Irvin was like trying to fix a bullet wound with a band-aid. We wanted the band-aid to stop the bleeding. We NEEDED the band-aid to at least slow the bleeding. The band-aid did everything it could to try to help, but it wasn’t ever going to get the job done. It’s just a band-aid.

The Future

Irvin will start the season in Lehigh Valley in 2020. If the Phillies do what they should this winter, he probably won’t see MLB time anytime soon unless there’s a ridiculous amount of injuries once again.