Oakland A’s: 3 biggest surprises from the first month of the season

Apr 8, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Cole Irvin (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the second inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Cole Irvin (19) pitches against the Houston Astros during the second inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

Cole Irvin

As was the case with Jed Lowrie, absolutely nothing was expected from Cole Irvin this year. Instead, he has been a solid addition to the Oakland A’s starting rotation.

Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations, he was expected to be nothing more than a minor league depth piece. Once Mike Fiers was brought back, Irvin appeared to be tenth at best on the depth chart, behind the already established options in the rotation and the A’s plethora of young arms.

Instead, he parlayed an excellent spring training into a chance on the Opening Day roster. Irvin’s first two outings were mediocre at best, underscoring the belief that he was nothing more than a depth option. However, once he was done facing the Astros, Irvin became a completely different pitcher.

Now, he is beginning to look like yet another steal, potentially even being this year’s Chris Bassitt. Irvin has posted a solid 3.67 ERA and a 1.296 WHiP in his 27 innings, striking out 25 batters with just four walks. Even with Fiers back on the roster, Irvin does not appear to be losing his place in the rotation any time soon.

Absolutely nothing was expected of Cole Irvin. Instead, the Oakland A’s may have found another potential piece for their rotation.

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