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Michael Kirkman

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Michael Scott Kirkman

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[edit] Biographical information

Michael Kirkman made it to the major leagues at age 23 in 2010.

Kirkman was 7-3 with a 1.43 ERA, .173 opponent average and 124 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings as a high school senior. He was rated as the #3 high school prospect in Florida by Baseball America. He had a letter of intent to Lake City Community College but he was drafted by the Rangers in the fifth round of the 2005 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Guy DeMutis and began his professional career that year.

With the AZL Rangers in 2005, Kirkman went 3-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 14 games (nine starts), striking out 58 batters in 52 1/3 innings. He was 6th in the Arizona League in ERA. He split 2006 between the AZL Rangers (eight games) and Clinton Lumber Kings (six games), going a combined 1-5 with a 9.70 ERA in 14 games (10 starts). He walked 51 batters in 34 1/3 innings while striking out 30. Despite posting an ERA near ten, he did not allow a single home run in 2006. He battled injury, missing over a month due to a hamstring problem.

Kirkman pitched for the Lumber Kings (five games) and Spokane Indians (nine games) in 2007, going a combined 1-5 with a 7.14 ERA in 14 games (eight starts) with 37 walks in 40 1/3 innings. He pitched for Spokane and Clinton again in 2008, improving to a combined record of 5-4 with an ERA of 3.84 in 17 games (16 starts). His control was much better, as he gave out only 26 free passes in 122 1/3 innings.

In 2009, he spent time with the Bakersfield Blaze (eight games) and Frisco RoughRiders (18 games), going 9-8 with a 3.48 ERA in 26 games (25 starts). He began 2010 with the Oklahoma City RedHawks, going 13-3 with a 3.09 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 131 innings. He was second in the Pacific Coast League in wins behind Eric Hacker. He was then promoted to the majors to replace Derek Holland.

In his MLB debut, the Texan lefty relieved Scott Feldman with a 8-5 deficit in the bottom of the 7th. He promptly struck out the side, getting Ty Wigginton, Luke Scott and Adam Jones in order. In the 8th, he retired Felix Pie before being replaced on the hill by Frank Francisco, having begun his big league career on a fine note.

On June 9, 2013, he was placed on the disabled list with a cancerous skin lesion on his right triceps, which was to be treated with radiation. He had first been diagnosed with the problem a year earlier and was successfully treated while pitching in the minors with the Round Rock Express.

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