Pirates Claim Josh Wall, Designate Phil Irwin For Assignment

The Pittsburgh Pirates have picked up Los Angeles Angels pitcher Josh Wall off waivers and assigned him to AAA Indianapolis. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Phil Irwin has been designated for assignment.

Wall has pitched parts of three seasons in the majors, including two games for the Angels this year. In one inning over two appearances, Wall got hit hard, allowing six runs on five hits and three walks. He also had a difficult time last year with the Dodgers, giving up 17 hits and six walks in seven innings, leading to an 18.00 ERA in six appearances. He is a 27-year-old righty that stands 6’6″, 215 pounds. Wall was a second round pick of the Dodgers in 2005 out of HS. He pitched eight times in AAA this year, with a 4.22 ERA in 10.2 innings. Wall is a hard-thrower that has reached triple digits with his fastball and he mixes in a hard slider.

Irwin began the year as a starter in AAA, then quickly moved to the bullpen, where he has not had any success. He has an 8.22 ERA in 21.2 innings, allowing 27 hits, four homers and 10 walks, to go along with 18 strikeouts.

These moves amount to trading one struggling 27-year-old right-hander for another, although the Pirates would assuredly like to have Irwin clear waivers and return to Indianapolis.


  • Don’t worry R Edwards. No one is picking up Irwin. He is far far away from being effective even at AAA. If the Pirates want him they can keep him at Indy. Anyone of the other guys you mentioned could still be cut but there day is later in the season. My guess a couple more wandy like outings and Volquez will be the next to go.

    • Not necessarily a bad move. It is another case of believing they might be able to revive the career of a highly-rated arm. You are right, bob. One, possibly two more bad outings for Volquez, and he is likely gone. I actually thought he pitched pretty well against the Yankees, but the HR is the big equalizer in the Major Leagues. If he can’t eliminate the HR, he won’t be effective.

  • Although Irwin has struggled greatly this year, he is coming off of an injury and was a promising late blooming prospect 2 years ago beofre the injury. I would have have seen the Pirates waive McGinness, Decker, Snider, Barmes, Gomez, or Volquez to make room for Wall.The Pirates are fortunate that Vin Mazzaro wasn’t picked up, when he was waived.

    • Were the Pirates fortunate,or the other orginizations pretty stupid for not claiming Mazzarro ?

      • they were pretty stupid

        • Ron Loreski
          May 23, 2014 8:09 am

          The Pirates were extremely fortunate. They should have DFA’d Bryan Morris at the end of spring training. Jared Hughes and Duke Welker are better for the last spot in the bullpen because they have options. And quite frankly, I think Hughes is much better than Morris.

    • why? Noone will claim Irwin the way he’s pitched this season. There is no risk here. Not to say I wouldn’t rather DFA Snider, Barmes, or Volquez either…..in fact pretty much all of those players suck except decker and Gomez, they still have value. DFA all of them

      • Decker is terrible – .230 at Indy – doesn’t even start all the time. McGinness is another player who could be waived, and no one would likely sign him. Is Morel on the 40 man? I hope not.