6:35pm: Irvin has shoulder tendinitis, manager Mark Kotsay told reporters (including Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle). Kotsay isn’t ruling out the possibility of Irvin returning when first eligible on May 17.
12:55pm: The Athletics announced this afternoon that starting pitcher Cole Irvin has been placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to May 2, due to soreness in his throwing shoulder. Fellow southpaw Zach Logue has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his spot on the active roster. Martín Gallegos of MLB.com tweets that Logue is expected to start this evening’s game in Minnesota.
Irvin’s shoulder soreness cropped up between starts during the week. The still-nebulous diagnosis and lack of a timetable provided by the team leave it unclear how long he’ll be sidelined. Irvin will miss at least a couple starts, though, as the return of the 15-day IL for pitchers is now in effect after being suspended for the first month of the season.
Acquired from the Phillies over the 2020-21 offseason for cash considerations, Irvin has stepped directly into the A’s rotation and proven a nice find. He made 32 starts and tossed 178 1/3 innings last year, posting a reasonable 4.24 ERA in spite of a lack of velocity or swing-and-miss stuff. Throughout his minor league career, he’d demonstrated excellent control. That strike-throwing prowess has carried over to the majors, as Irvin walked a meager 5.5% of batters faced. His pitch-to-contact style played better in front of an excellent A’s defense and in Oakland’s cavernous home ballpark than it had in Philadelphia, where he’d gotten terrible results in limited action between 2019-20.
The 28-year-old Irvin got off to another solid beginning this year. Through five starts, he owns a 2.93 ERA in 27 2/3 innings despite a subpar 15.9% strikeout rate. He’s again thrown plenty of strikes and seen an early uptick in ground-balls relative to last year. While he’s sidelined, the A’s will need to plug a rotation spot behind Frankie Montas, James Kaprielian, Daulton Jefferies and Paul Blackburn.
Adam Oller, acquired from the Mets in the Chris Bassitt trade this past offseason, has been the top rotation depth candidate in the early going. He’s not fared well in his first three MLB appearances, though, and he tossed three innings with Las Vegas on Tuesday after being optioned out.
Like Oller, Logue was acquired as part of the A’s Spring Training sell-off. The 26-year-old was one of four players sent from the Jays in the Matt Chapman deal. He made his MLB debut in relief last month but will now get his first big league start. Over four starts with the Aviators, he has a 5.63 ERA in 16 innings.