Irvin, who has a 1.50 ERA and 8:1 K:BB across 12 spring innings, is making a case for the Athletics' expected season-opening rotation vacancy, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. "We're still stretching him out to be a starter, so nothing has been decided there," manager Bob Melvin said. "Depending on Mike [Fiers], we know we have four starters. It's the fifth spot that is still up for grabs at this point. [Irvin's] sinker is terrific, and he uses his breaking ball just enough. He's still competing."
Irvin logged three starts in 16 appearances for the Phillies as a rookie back in 2019, but he's opened a pair of games this spring and worked four scoreless, two-hit innings in relief during Friday's Cactus League loss to the Cubs. Gallegos notes that caliber of performance is making Irvin a surprise candidate to potentially fill in for Mike Fiers (hip) early in the season, and that even if that fails to come to fruition, the southpaw has strengthened his case to make the Opening Day roster in some capacity.