Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kickham could be a long-term answer in the Giants rotation.
2013 Stats at Triple-A Fresno: 9 GS, 3-4 W-L, 4.33 ERA, 54 IP, 58 H, 32 R, 22 BB, 54 K
As detailed in the introduction, Kickham is the first top prospect to get the call to the big leagues for the Giants this year. He's certainly earned it with the way he's thrown the ball recently.
He's gone 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA over his last five starts. He's struck out 29 against nine walks during that stretch. In his start last week, he allowed just four hits and one run over 6.1 innings of work.
His control remains his biggest weakness. He's walked 22 in 54 innings this season after walking 75 in 150.2 innings last year.
Despite the control issues, Kickham is the best starting pitching prospect the Giants have in the upper minors. He's deserving of the promotion to San Francisco.
The next few weeks could serve as a long-term audition for Kickham. If he proves he can pitch effectively while Vogelsong is out, the Giants could turn a rotation spot over to him next year. Vogelsong, Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum could all potentially leave via free agency this winter, so the Giants may need to find three new starters.
Stock Watch: Up