Orioles observations on Cole Irvin overcoming rough first inning, DL Hall taking next step in return from injury and more

Despite giving up two runs in the first inning Thursday, Cole Irvin was still satisfied with the way his opening frame went.

No, not the four hits he gave up to the first four batters he faced, but instead the way he got out of that inning and settled down after against the Toronto Blue Jays.

“It’s just part of the process,” Irvin said. “Those innings are good to get through and work through, and I still came out of that 20 pitches or less. I was able to get out of damage spots and just made good pitches.”

Irvin, the left-hander the Orioles acquired from the Oakland Athletics this offseason, gave up just two more hits and zero runs after the opening barrage. He ended his night allowing two runs in 4 1/3 innings while walking none and striking out three against a lineup filled mostly with minor leaguers. The 29-year-old threw 66 pitches — 47 for strikes — and was pleased to start the fifth inning while being on a 70-pitch limit.

“He threw the ball well, got a couple of ground balls that kind of went through there in that first inning,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “But I thought he really settled down nicely. The offspeed stuff worked well. It was nice to get him back out there for the fifth inning.”

Irvin said his outing, his third start of the spring, was his final one in which he can focus more on things other than purely how he gets batters out. In 9 1/3 spring innings, Irvin has allowed 10 hits and three runs with just one walk and six punchouts.

“These next couple starts leading up to season are full tilt, now it’s attacking lineups and getting ready for the season. I’m done kind of playing around,” he said. “This is kind of the last start I could actually do that.”

Irvin said he was working on the movement on his curveball and sinker and saw positive results. In 2022, Irvin allowed a .278 batting average against his sinker and a .504 slugging percentage versus his curveball — both ranking as the worst in those categories among his four main pitches.

Also in the Orioles’ 7-4 win, Nomar Mazara broke out of his slump with a two-run single and Austin Hays continued his hot spring with a 2-for-3 day and a two-run home run.

Hall sharp in two-inning simulated game

DL Hall took another crucial step Thursday toward his return to game action.

Hall pitched a two-inning simulated game on a back field before the Orioles’ contest against the Blue Jays. The 24-year-old left-hander was mostly sharp against the 11 batters he faced, throwing 42 pitches (30 strikes, 12 balls). While it was only a two-inning simulated game, he recorded more than six outs to get him to that pitch limit.

Hall, the Orioles’ No. 2 ranked pitching prospect behind Grayson Rodriguez, is recovering from right lumbar discomfort in his lower back that he experienced a few weeks before spring training began. He said in mid-February that …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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