Athletics

A's Irvin ready to bounce back after 'pissed off' offseason

Athletics

A's pitcher Cole Irvin was waving and smiling during his Zoom availability following his two-inning outing on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. It was an energetic greeting and one not to be anticipated from someone who said he spent the offseason “pissed off.”

“It’s easy -- the goal is to make the Opening Day roster,” Irvin said. “That’s kind of what I was set up for with the old team,” Irvin said on Wednesday. 

That old team being the Philadelphia Phillies. The A's acquired Irvin, a lefty, via trade on Jan. 30. 

Irvin admitted coming out of the bullpen isn’t something he has found success with. His 17.18 ERA in 3 2/3 innings of relief with the Phillies last season confirmed that.

“That’s as honest as I can be … whatever role they decide to give me, I’ll be ready to go and prepared,” Irvin said. 

His new chapter with the A’s will force Irvin to not get away from himself, which he discussed at length. But he remains a very happy guy. 

“Smiling,” he said. “You’re going to see me smiling, you’re going to see me doing a little dance -- not bad dancing, I’m not going to get outside of my little bubble.”

It’s something he’s been successful at in the past. 

“In the past it’s just being myself and enjoying the moment, enjoying who I’m working with behind the plate and the guys behind me on the field, making sure we’re minding each other, making sure we’re having fun -- it’s a game,” he said. “And at the same time, be ready to do my job.

 

“This offseason I was really pissed off with just my overall performance in the big leagues in the past year and the lack of opportunity that I didn’t allow myself to have because of my inability to just be myself,” Irvin said. “So this offseason I was working all pissed off.”

It appeared the offseason that followed the tough luck time in Philly was something Irvin needed to feel, then use toward his new beginning with the A’s. 

He took a break and made adjustments -- adjustments he said we saw on the field Wednesday.

There might have been an extra boost behind his spirits. A former University of Oregon Duck, Irvin was used to playing in the green and gold colors. 

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman noticed Irvin’s success in Triple-A, but said there were concerns over the fact that he wasn’t missing enough bats at the big-league level.

"He’s also had a few really good, efficient starts when his command has been there,” Seidman told NBC Sports California.

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“Last season he didn’t get many opportunities,” Seidman added. “They seemed to lose confidence after how poorly his first appearance with the opening weekend.”

It appears that energy has shifted, however.

“I had a lot of adrenaline coming in, new team, a lot of good, nervous energy if that is such a thing because I want to perform well and show the team what I got,” Irvin said.