In second spring start, Cole Irvin puts up more zeros (updated, O's win again)

SARASOTA, Fla. - In his second outing of spring training, O’s lefty Cole Irvin put up more zeros today and continued to show off his increased velocity.

Irvin threw three scoreless innings, twice facing the top of the Yankees order, as the Orioles faced New York for the first of two games this spring.

Irvin had some traffic on the bases, but put up zeros in the top of the first and second. But he needed 21 pitches to get through the first and 20 more in the second.

He was once again showing the velocity bump. In his start Sunday versus the Pirates he threw two scoreless, averaging 94 mph on his four-seamer after throwing that pitch at 92.2 mph on average in 2023.

His first inning today featured numerous readings of 94 and 95 on the Ed Smith Stadium scoreboard

Irvin, though, was in immediate trouble, allowing a single to Anthony Volpe on the game’s first pitch – a 94 mph fastball – and then he hit Alex Verdugo. But a lineout to second, fly out to short right and groundout followed. The second out was played on a nice sliding catch in right field by Heston Kjerstad.

Irvin allowed a single to Kevin Smith with a nine-pitch at-bat to start the second, but a double play grounder off the bat of J.C. Escarra, once an O’s farmhand, followed.

He faced just three batters in the third, seeing the top of the order for the second time. Volpe singled, but Verdugo grounded into a double play and Gleyber Torres grounded out.

Irvin threw 52 pitches, 33 for strikes, becoming the first O’s starter to go three innings this spring. He was happy with the velo again today.

“Towards that third inning I backed off a little bit, just to kind of give myself some wiggle room if I needed it," he said. "Just trying to add and subtract, I guess, is kind of what I was experimenting with in that third inning. So, it felt really good. When I can step on it, I can get up to that 94, 95 (mph) and then, it’s nice to be able to just sit at 92, 93 and not think about it.”

Another good outing and five scoreless innings in the books for Irvin through two games.

“You know, command of some off-speed pitches weren’t exactly there, which is something you are trying to work on this time of year," he said. "Ultimately, still have more stuff to work on, but fastball, from the two-seam to the cutter, to the four-seam and changeup, those are all right where they need to be right now. So, moving forward, just continue to work on the off-speed stuff and make those as good as they were in the offseason."

Irvin said he put some emphasis today on his cutter and sinker to get some ground balls and he got seven of nine outs on the ground.

"That is what I was hoping for from the new arsenal," he said. "Need to be less flyball happy. Can't complain."

* Right-hander Julio Teheran, who has logged nearly 1,500 major league innings, made his O's debut today, and it was a quick one: a 1-2-3 top of the fourth.

He followed Irvin to the mound and Teheran, signed Wednesday to a minor league contract, retired Trent Grisham on a foul pop that catcher Adley Rutschman made a nice play on. He got José Rojas on a fly ball and Kevin Smith struck out.

"Yeah, for sure (happy with that inning)," said Teheran. "Especially for the first game. Real game. Off of last season, I feel pretty happy the way I threw. Command, for myself, it was a little off but good to see the situations with counts and was able to use all my pitches like I did."

Teheran, who had a 4.40 ERA with Milwaukee last year in 71 2/3 innings, said there was some adrenaline pumping as he tries to impress his new team.

"I spent a lot of time this offseason working, and now just go compete and show that I can help the team," he said.

Teheran has clearly had springs very different from this one, springs in which he already knew he had a team made. So does that make this different?

"Yeah, I feel like every game, every outing I get here will count," he said. "For me, I don't put any pressure, I just want to come here and enjoy the game. I was out for two years, and to come back, it was just like a game for me. Now every time I get the opportunity I try to enjoy this as much as possible."

Irvin and Teheran were not facing the Yankees' A lineup today by any stretch. But in going 4-2-1 in seven games this spring, the Yankees had scored 53 runs to lead the Grapefruit League. 

* After New York starter Marcus Stroman pitched four scoreless innings on two hits, the O's scored quickly against his replacement. Austin Hays, who began today 2-for-7 on the spring, led off the fifth with a homer to left off Cody Morris.

An inning later the Orioles produced four runs on three hits and a couple of walks. Ryan Mountcastle smoked a bases-loaded, two-run double to left for a 3-0 lead. Hays followed two batters later with a two-run single for a three-RBI day and 5-0 Baltimore lead.   

* The Orioles took a 7-0 lead in the last of the seventh when Kyle Stowers hit a two-run homer to right-center on an 0-2 pitch. It came off lefty Nick Ramirez. Stowers is now 4-for-13 this spring with three homers – all off lefties.

Why the success left-on-left?

“Been putting in a lot of good work in the cage,” said Stowers. “Kind of alluded to it earlier in spring, working on swing efficiency. Being in a better position to hit on time and that has just happened to translate to lefties right now because I am seeing so many. As those righty at-bats start to stack up too, think the same thing will translate.”

* The Orioles led 7-0 to the ninth, but missed out on a second spring shutout after giving up three runs in the inning before completing a 7-3 win over the Yankees. That’s an 8-1 record.

The attendance of 8,204 was the second sellout of the spring at Ed Smith Stadium after the opener on Feb. 24 against Boston.

Manager Brandon Hyde on Irvin: “I think he kind of built off his last outing. Three good innings out of him. Up to around 50 pitches, which is important right now. Good stuff again.”

Hyde on Teheran: “First outing, spring training. We’re going to continue to build him up also. Nice to see him come out here and right away throw strikes with good off-speed stuff.”

Hyde on Stowers: “That’s impressive. Is that three? Three off lefties? Those balls are no-doubters too. Putting really good swings together. Not easy to do when you play the back half of the game. Sit around for an hour and a half, two hours and all the sudden you jump and get in the game. Happy for him. Last year was a rough year for him. To see the way he’s swinging it right now. Exciting for us.”

Hyde on another scoreless inning for Dillon Tate: “Another big step for him. Sinker, slider, changeup. Some good changeups to lefties. The sinker had depth, 93 94. Great to see out of him.”


Morning talk about a race and a replacement for th...
John Means making progress but not likely to pitch...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to