In part due to injuries and other times simply looking to provide a day of rest, the Los Angeles Dodgers have aggressively churned players on and off the 25-man roster. The latest to join the fray is Chin-hui Tsao, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Along with Tsao, a familiar face has also been recalled in right-hander Josh Ravin.
The Dodgers selected the contract of Tsao and in order to make room for him on the 40-man roster, Eric Surkamp was designated for assignment. Ravin is recalled, while right-hander Yimi Garcia and left-hander Ian Thomas are heading to OKC after being optioned.
Surkamp was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in May, and made his debut with the team on Monday. He threw three innings and allowed four runs.
Thomas was recalled on Tuesday and pitched two scoreless innings. He was acquired in the trade that sent Juan Uribe to the Atlanta Braves and is being used as a starter in the minors.
Garcia began the year as the best arm in the Dodgers bullpen with an ERA under 1.00 until May, but since then he’s struggled and now sits at 4.10. He was the starting pitcher in a bullpen game on Monday and threw 43 pitches. He will likely remain in OKC until after the All-Star break, or longer if the Dodgers decide to rest his arm a bit, as he has appeared in 40 games already.
Tsao has a 4.40 ERA in 25 games between Double-A Tulsa and Oklahoma City this season. He’s accumulated 39 strikeouts and walked nine walks over 30.2 innings; 31 strikeouts and five walks have come in 21 games at the Triple-A level. Tsao also has five saves with the OKC Dodgers.
The veteran reliever signed a Minor League deal with the Dodgers in January, to the surprise of many. Not so much because of Tsao’s age, but due to his involvement in a 2009 game-fixing scandal during his time in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. The Dodgers’ signing of Tsao was cleared by Major League Baseball.
Tsao last pitched in the major leagues in 2007 with the Dodgers, posting a 4.38 ERA in 21 relief appearances, with 16 strikeouts and eight walks in 24.2 innings. He last pitched on Saturday for OKC, throwing 37 pitches and allowing one run in two innings.
Ravin was signed by the Dodgers in 2013 and made his Major League debut with the team on June 2, earning a win. He pitched in seven games before being optioned back down to the minors. The right-hander can ramp it up to the high-90s with his fastball, but has struggled with command.