There has been a lot of talk during the off-season about who will be the Texas Rangers fifth starter going into the 2014 season since the Derek Holland injury. Names like Tanner Scheppers, Colby Lewis, Robbie Ross, Nick Tepesch have all been thrown around as well as bringing in a Tommy Hanson or another low priced free agent. One name I have not heard mentioned until now is Michael Kirkman. According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, they are considering him for that fifth starter spot.
“Right-hander Nick Tepesch is the leading candidate, but the Rangers are also going to look at left-handers Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman. Both were in the bullpen last season.”
Many Texas Rangers fans do not like Kirkman at the major league level because of how much he has struggled over the past two seasons. Last season in 25 games Kirkman went 0-2 with an ERA of 8.18, and in 2012 he was 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA in 28 games. He did not start any games at the major league level. I know he had some healthy problems in 2013 which may have led to his bad pitching in both the majors and the minors (at Round Rock Michael had an ERA of 6.98 in 2013 in 6 games, 5 starts). Kirkman is a left-handed pitcher, and the Texas Rangers seem to want to replace Holland with another left-handed pitcher at the moment, but I am just not sure that Kirkman is the right choice.
Of course all of this is probably a moot point since I don’t think he will win the job, but the Texas Rangers must see something in Michael that the rest of us don’t because he continues to get chance after chance from the organization hen he does not seem to pitch well in those chances. I hope that Kirkman is now healthy and doing well mentally after all he went through last season, but I am just not sure that I would trust him as the fifth starter. If you agree or disagree, I would love to hear from you.