OAKLAND -- Pitcher Michael Kirkman is back with the Rangers. More important, he is cancer-free. Kirkman missed almost three months while dealing with a recurrence of lymphoma, a condition he also had to deal with in the 2011-12 offseason.
Kirkman, who began the season in the Rangers bullpen, was 2-3 with a 6.98 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance at Triple-A Round Rock on a medical rehabilitation assignment. He allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings in his last outing, but prior to that, he won two straight starts while allowing two runs in 11 innings.
"Overall, I'm doing pretty good," Kirkman said. "Baseball-wise, I'm improving. I had a bad game, but other than that I've pitched well. I learned some things about myself and I learned some things about pitching."
Kirkman still has to stay on top of his susceptibility to getting skin cancer, but it is gone for now.
"It's not something you want to go through, but it has to be dealt with," Kirkman said. "It's lymphoma. It happens. I have to get checked every three to six months with a certain type of scan, but other than that, if nothing shows up, I'm good to go."
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.Less