The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted pitchers Phil Irwin and Josh Poytress from Bradenton to Altoona. Irwin’s promotion is expected. He returned to Bradenton over the weekend after missing the early part of the season with an injury. He pitched half the season in Altoona last year and was always ticketed to return to the level.
Poytress has pitched well this year. He started the season in West Virginia, then quickly moved up to Bradenton after giving up one run in 8.1 innings, with an 8:3 K/BB ratio. While with the Marauders, the left-hander threw 16.2 shutout innings, including six shutout innings in relief last night in Bradenton’s 18 inning victory. He’s posted an 11:7 K/BB ratio in Bradenton, along with a .175 BAA.
Poytress was drafted last year in the 18th round out of Fresno State.
Altoona already had one open roster spot. Another was created by transferring right-handed pitcher Kyle Cofield to the DL.
UPDATE: Poytress tweets that he’s not actually going to Altoona. It’s just a paper move to open up roster spots for Bradenton. It’s rare to see a paper move in the upper levels. Usually we only see them in West Virginia. It made more sense for Irwin to be going, although that could also be a paper move.
Rick VandenHurk has been added to the Bradenton roster, and will throw tonight for the Marauders. So obviously that’s where the need for a roster spot came from.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.