Cole Irvin attempting to take next step for Oakland A’s
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s are going to be relying upon a bevy of unproven arms in the 2022 season. Chris Bassitt has already been traded, and it seems to be a matter of time before Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas follow him out the door. This will leave the A’s looking for someone to step up and become their next top of the rotation arm.
Cole Irvin is looking to make his case for that role. He has been working hard despite the lockout, reportedly adding two to three MPH to his fastball. Irvin has also added a new pitch – a cutter – that he taught himself by watching Pitching Ninja videos on Twitter and an interview with Corbin Burnes.
Oakland A’s may get even more from Cole Irvin
It was easy to dismiss Irvin heading into last season. He was acquired by the A’s for cash considerations from the Phillies, a team in desperate need of pitching help themselves. If the Phillies were willing to part with him, then it stood to reason that he would not be much more than a depth option in Triple-A.
Irvin easily surpassed any and all expectations. While he posted a 10-15 record, leading the American League in losses, he easily deserved better. He posted a solid 4.24 ERA and a 1.329 WHiP in his 178.1 innings, striking out 125 batters with 42 walks. Those numbers are even better if his results against the Mariners are removed, as he simply could not defeat them last year.
It is possible that Irvin can take another step forward in 2022. If his cutter is a viable option, and the increased velocity sticks throughout the season, he could establish himself as the top arm in the A’s rotation. While he would be best suited as a middle of the rotation arm, it is entirely possible that Irvin will continue to surprise everyone.
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Cole Irvin may have improved during the lockout. The Oakland A’s are certainly hoping that is the case as they will be relying heavily upon him in 2022.