The Lone Wolf

Wolf
The “Michael Kirkman as long man” scenario is at a close; there is a great article by our own Bob Bland on what the future is for Mr. Kirkman now (found here). I agree wholeheartedly that it’s probably time to look to Round Rock and replace Kirkman. In the meantime, the search for a long man to finish the season may be at a much needed conclusion.
Ross Wolf was another “Geez, so and so is hurt and they’re calling up who?!” player in the carousel that is the starting rotation. He was set to face Oakland in his first start, a team that is capable of pouncing and demolishing a guy like Wolf. Wolf stayed strong, though; his final line was 5 IP, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. He was sent to the bullpen after that start where, in his next two appearances, he left another handful of hitters in his wake. His next appearance in Boston was the roughest with 2 runs on 3 hits. He was still a much needed arm in the pen and has been an asset since his call up. On Saturday, versus Toronto, we got to see how much of a weapon he stands to be now.

Being summoned in the 12th inning of a game with little offense and little room for error is daunting. Wolf went 6.2 innings, yielding 1 run on 7 hits with 1 walk and 1 strikeout. He also fought his way out of a few jams with the help of his defense. Sadly, his valiant effort was wasted by a plethora of missed offensive chances and a bad throw on an attempted pick-off move to 1st to check a runner. Even so, he fought hard on Saturday, considering no one probably expected he’d need to go even half as far as he did in the game that day.

Guys like Wolf tend to bounce around in the minors. They may get a small stint as relief guys for the parent club, but many return and get stuck in MiLB life for the majority of their careers. He got his shot to break out and has seized it here in Texas. In light of the lack of progress with Michael Kirkman, I’d like to see the Rangers keep Wolf on the roster as the spot starter/long man for the rest of the season. He’s earned the right to stay by showing he can make pitches, keep it together in jams, trust his defense, and basically be the anti-Kirkman. I hope he keeps it up; the Rangers need him. 

Sarah Powers is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning.com. She can be reached at sarah.powers@shutdowninning.com or on Twitter @Power_Play86.
Sarah Powers

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