Texas Rangers transactions: The Texas Rangers have claimed pitcher Phil Irwin on waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Irwin, 27, is a righthander who was drafted by the Pirates out of the University of Mississippi in the 21st round of the 2009 draft. He has one appearance in the majors -- a start he made last season, when he allowed 5 runs in 4.2 IP. Irwin only appeared in three games, total, in 2013 -- that start in the majors, and two starts for AAA Indianapolis, where he allowed 1 run in 10 innings. He missed most of the year after having an ulnar nerve transplant in his elbow.
Irwin had a 8.72 ERA in 21.2 innings in AAA this year prior to the Pirates designating him for assignment earlier this week to make room for Josh Wall on the 40 man roster.
Irwin had put himself on the prospect map with a 2.83 ERA in 130.1 IP split between three levels (though primarily the AA Eastern League) in 2012, with 117 Ks and just 24 walks. John Sickels had a write-up on Irwin a little over a year ago, and had him as a sleeper prospect heading into 2013, before his injury.
This is basically the Rangers using their roster flexibility to add some pitching depth at AAA and take a look at a guy who was considered a decent prospect before his injury. The Rangers had an open spot on their 40 man roster, so no move was necessary to open up a spot for Irwin.