Kirkman joins Crew's 'pen after whirlwind week

Kirkman joins Crew's 'pen after whirlwind week

CINCINNATI -- Michael Kirkman's weird week and a half carried him from San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego to EL Paso to Cincinnati, where he joined the Brewers' bullpen on Saturday. It was something of an odd landing spot.

The Brewers claimed Kirkman, a left-handed reliever, off waivers from the Padres on Thursday. He pitched in the Brewers' organization last season at Triple-A Colorado Springs and performed well -- posting a 2.81 ERA in 33 games -- but was passed over for a promotion to the Majors and released in August after a spate of Brewers trades infused a slew of new players into the Minor League system.

Now, under a new front office regime, Kirkman finds himself back with the Brewers -- this time, in the big leagues.

"It's great," he said. "I enjoyed my time here. I know quite a few guys in the clubhouse, so that's nice to come in to some camaraderie. It's been a wild ride for the last week or so."

Kirkman made one ineffective appearance for the Padres in San Francisco last week before they designated him for assignment on Monday on the heels of a road trip against the Giants and Dodgers. He traveled from San Diego to El Paso, where he'd been pitching for the Padres' Triple-A team, and awaited his fate. On Thursday came word that the Brewers had won a waiver claim.

The Brewers knew from his 2015 stint in Colorado Springs that Kirkman had a good arm. But they noticed this season that Kirkman had discovered newfound command, with no walks in his first five appearances for El Paso.

Last year as a Brewers farmhand, he struck out 34 batters and walked 28 in 32 innings.

"I found a way to put the ball over the plate consistently with decent command," Kirkman said. "Starting early in the spring up until now, I'm throwing the ball exceptionally well. Even in San Fran last week, I threw the ball pretty well. The results didn't show that. I feel like for the rest of the year, I can throw the ball well and have a good impact on this team."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.