Rangers have confidence in Kirkman
MAY 31, 2013 5:27p ET
The stuff Kirkman's put up those numbers with isn't.
That's what gives Texas manager Ron Washington the confidence to keep going to the left-hander despite an ERA of 6.97 and a WHIP of 2.08, the second highest among relievers in the American League.
"He's pitching in bad luck," Washington said. "I thought yesterday he got two ground balls that could have gotten him out of that game but they weren't hit hard enough. It seems like when he makes a pitch something bad happens. When he doesn't make a pitch, something bad happens. He's just got to fight through it. There's nothing wrong with his stuff."
Kirkman came on Thursday for the seventh inning with the Rangers leading 9-3. Washington said he wanted Kirkman to pitch the rest of the way if possible. Unfortunately for him, he retired just two of the six batters he faced and was tagged for two runs.
"He's just got to stay mentally tough and fight through it," Washington said.
Washington made it sound like he'd have the opportunity to do just that. He said he'd trot out Kirkman again in the same type of situation. Kirkman, who was one of the top pitchers for Texas this spring, is out of options leaving the Rangers with limited ways to handle their long man.
Right-hander prospect Roman Mendez, who had surgery last November for a stress fracture in his right elbow, is out for the season for the same reason.
Mendez, 22, had surgery Friday. His spot on the Frisco roster was taken by Mike Olt, who was activated from the disabled list.
Mendez came to the Rangers in the Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade. He was having a stellar season in the Frisco bullpen, going 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA in 16 games with a pair of saves.