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Rangers recall Kirkman, outright Tomko

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Well, this was unexpected...

The Texas Rangers have recalled lefthanded pitcher Michael Kirkman from AAA Round Rock.  To make room for Kirkman on the 25 man roster, the Rangers apparently put righthanded pitcher Brett Tomko on waivers after Wednesday's game, having announced today that he cleared waivers and has accepted an outright assignment to Round Rock.

Tomko had originally been brought up to share long relief duties with Dave Bush, but has been used more in a middle-relief role.  Kirkman came into spring training considered to have a good shot at earning a rotation job with the major league team, but struggled both in the spring and early in the season in the minors.

Kirkman has been pitching out of the bullpen recently with Round Rock, and in four relief outings, he has struck out 9 batters against just two walks, allowing 6 hits and 1 run in 7 2/3 innings.

Kirkman will presumably be a middle reliever, giving the Rangers a third lefty option along with Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes.