Due to injuries in the starting rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently without a fifth starter. Carlos Frias was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with lower back tightness, missing his turn in the rotation on Monday.
To replace him the Dodgers called up left-hander Eric Surkamp. While many believed that Surkamp would start Monday’s game, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly instead decided to start reliever Yimi Garcia who threw two innings before Surkamp made his Dodgers debut. After the game, Surkamp said that whether he started or relieved the game, it didn’t make a difference to him. “I was a reliever last year with the White Sox so that was nothing really new to me either,” he said. “I think it was more trying to get some match-ups, trying to get a couple more lefty’s in the line-up that when I came in the game I had a little advantage left on left with guys. ”
Surkamp gave up four hits and four runs in 3.1 innings while striking out four in his Dodgers debut. “You want to say you’re calm from the first pitch you get out there, but every time you get up here it’s a little bit different. Adrenaline is flowing a little bit more so you just try to stay within yourself and just do what got you here and not really change anything. I really didn’t think I was nervous when I was out there. I didn’t feel nervous or anything, but it’s just a little different not really knowing anybody in the clubhouse and stuff like that.”
The Dodgers acquired him from the Chicago White Sox at the end of May. While the Dodgers have been using him as a starter, the White Sox used him as a reliever. In 2014, he made 35 appearances with the Major League club, yielding a 4.81 ERA in 24.1 innings while striking out 20. In seven games (six starts) in Triple-A this season with the Dodgers organization he is 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 34 innings.