The Giants placed Chad Gaudin on the DL yesterday, as his banged-up elbow just wasn’t ready to go for tonight’s start in LA. Gaudin’s injury is another bummer for the Giants, but it is good news for one person: Mike Kickham.
Kickham was recalled from AAA Fresno for the second time this season after pitching all of 2.1 innings in Oakland in his MLB debut last month. He’ll start tonight against Stephen Fife, and likely again in homer-friendly Cincinnati next week. The 24-year old lefty is looking to show a little more this time, and honestly, he may very well be pitching for a spot in the rotation going forward.
I made a joke in a previous post about Kickham “looking good while he missed pitches off the outside corner” in his previous start. But really, I did think he showed flashes of electric stuff, especially with his sweeping slider. The A’s have a solid lineup, Kickham was obviously trying to be careful, and the Giants had a very short leash with him in his debut. He’s got swing-and-miss stuff, and if he can show a bit more confidence and locate his fastball this time around, he should pitch deeper into the game.
I don’t think the Giants would be too upset if Kickham showed enough improvement to send Gaudin back to his spot in the bullpen. That would certainly solve one nagging team issue. So, for Mike Kickham, audition number 2 has come. Show us what you’ve got, kid.