Dodgers Claim Phil Bickford From Brewers; Mike Kickham Designated For Assignment

The Los Angeles Dodgers claimed Phil Bickford off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers and designated Mike Kickham for assignment in order to add the right-handed relief pitcher to their 40-man roster.

Bickford, 25, has appeared in two Major League games in his career, allowing a combined six runs on six hits in two innings with the Brewers. He was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (18th overall) of the 2015 Draft out of the College of Southern Nevada.

The Giants included Bickford in their trade to acquire Will Smith from the Brewers on Aug. 1, 2016. The former Oaks Christian High School standout is 11-8 with a 2.98 ERA and 277 strikeouts in five minor league seasons.

Bickford is not on the Dodgers’ active roster, but he provides them with a fresh arm for a bullpen that’s shouldered a heavy load of late. A planned bullpen game over the weekend was followed by a second due to Dustin May leaving his start because of a right arm injury.

The Dodgers had just added Kickham to their 40-man roster on Sunday, when May was put on the 10-day injured list and Corey Knebel was transferred to the 60-day IL. Kickham followed Julio Urias’ strong start and allowed three runs over two innings to finish the blowout win over the Brewers.

Kickham spent last season with the Boston Red Sox organization and appeared in six games (two starts) after having his contract selected. He went 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in those games.

Prior to that, Kickham had last been in the Majors with the Giants during parts of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Kickham appeared in a combined 14 games (three starts) over that span, going 0-3 with a 10.98 ERA, 6.02 FIP and 2.14 WHIP.

The 32-year-old signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers during the offseason. L.A. has seven days for Kickham to clear waivers or potentially work out a trade.

Dodgers rotation plans

With three off days between Monday and Thursday, May 13, the Dodgers are contemplating keeping a four-man rotation for the time being. Tony Gonsolin is being built up as a starter in the wake of May’s injury, but he is still at least three weeks from being activated off the IL.

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