After Years of Chances, Michael Kirkman Released

Out of experiments, a once-promising pitching prospect of the Texas Rangers is now out of a job.

After all the hype and expectations and opportunities, Michael Kirkman was released Tuesday.

His last gasp was as a lefty-to-lefty specialist, but in two spring training appearances he produced a wild pitch, surrendered an earned run and amassed an ERA of 5.40. The Rangers aren’t sure who there long lefty out of the bullpen will be – maybe Alex Claudio? – but it won’t be Kirkman.

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Drafted in the 5th round in ’05, Kirkman at times displayed dominating stuff. But he only flirted with his potential, never finding a groove nor a niche.

After a poor spring in 2014 he was exposed to waivers and went to Triple-A Round Rock, where he struggled as a starter but then dazzled as a lefty specialist. But apparently the Rangers no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel with Kirkman, who’s only 28.

His Rangers’ career ends with a whimper: Only two wins and a save in 106 innings and a cameo in the ’10 World Series.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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