The Brewers announced today that they have claimed left-hander Michael Kirkman off waivers from the Padres. San Diego had designated Kirkman for assignment earlier in the week after just one appearance. Kirkman, 29, allowed four runs in just an inning and a third in his lone appearance as a Padre. He’d allowed three runs on three hits and no walks with six strikeouts in six innings for San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate this season.
Milwaukee is no stranger to Kirkman, as the left-hander spent a good portion of the 2015 campaign pitching with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs. Last year, Kirkman posted a 2.81 ERA across 32 innings in that hitter-friendly environment. However, despite an impressive 34 strikeouts in that time, he also issued 28 walks, continuing control problems that have followed him for much of his professional career. Indeed, Kirkman has averaged 5.1 walks per nine innings pitched in his 374 innings at the Triple-A level. His control has been slightly better in an admittedly limited sample at the Major League level, where he has a lifetime 5.25 ERA with 8.6 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 in 108 innings. The entirety of his Major League experience, aside from this year’s brief cameo in a Padres uniform, has come with the Rangers, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2008 draft.
Tom Haudicourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets that GM David Stearns tells him Kirkman is out of options and will thus join Chris Capuano as a second left-handed option in the Brewers’ big league bullpen following Sam Freeman’s recent DFA. A corresponding 25-man roster move has yet to be announced. (Apologies to our readers for previously and incorrectly writing that Kirkman had a minor league option remaining.)