Upon return, Kirkman could start or relieve

Upon return, Kirkman could start or relieve

Upon return, Kirkman could start or relieve

SEATTLE -- Michael Kirkman, who has been on the disabled list since June 7 while recovering from skin cancer, has made himself an option for the Rangers' rotation going into September.

Kirkman pitched six innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. He threw 83 pitches and now has a 1.64 ERA in his last two starts for the Express.

"Michael had his slider working," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's stretched out now and a consideration for whatever we need."

Kirkman has never started at the big league level, but he was a starter for most of his time in the Minor Leagues. He could make one more start for Round Rock later this week or he could be activated Sunday when the rosters expand to up to 40 players. If he doesn't join the Rangers' rotation, he will most likely work out of the bullpen in September.

The Rangers are using left-hander Travis Blackley as their fifth starter with Alexi Ogando and Nick Tepesch on the disabled list. Tepesch, who has been out since July 7 with elbow inflammation, is scheduled to throw 45 pitches on a rehab start Tuesday for Double-A Frisco against Corpus Christi.

Ogando, who has been sidelined with inflammation around a nerve in his right shoulder, has not yet resumed throwing off a mound. He has been throwing long toss and said he still feels the shoulder when he tries to throw hard.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.