With Hyun-Jin Ryu undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers will push forward in 2015 without two pitchers, Brandon McCarthy being the other, they expected to be part of their starting rotation.
While the club presumably will look to address the rotation at some point this season, it won’t come before the organizational depth is first tended to as the Dodgers announced Friday they acquired left-handed relief pitcher Eric Surkamp from the Chicago White Sox.
In exchange for Surkamp the White Sox received Blake Smith. Neither pitcher involved in the trade were on their respective club’s 40-man roster. Smith was with the Dodgers’ Double-A Tulsa affiliate this season while Surkamp pitched for Triple-A Charlotte and will report to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Surkamp was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. He made his Major-League debut with them in 2011, starting six games and finishing with a 2-2 record and 5.74 ERA. He also appeared in one game with the Giants in 2013 and in 35 games (all in relief) last season for the White Sox, posting a 4.81 ERA and 4.82 FIP in 24.1 innings pitched.
The 27 year old has yet to appear in the Majors this season; he was designated by the White Sox April 26 and sent outright to their Triple-A affiliate. He went on to appear in 11 games (one start) and posted a 2.81 ERA with 30 strikeouts over 25.2 innings.
Surkamp was particularly tough on lefties as they are hitting just .189/.268/.351 (7-for-37) with two home runs against him this season. Comparatively, right-handers are batting .214/.279/.268 (12-for-56) with one home run.
Over parts of three seasons in the Majors Surkamp is 4-3 with a 6.20 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched over 42 games (seven starts). Lefties are a career .237/.357/.475 with four home runs and have struck out 12 times over 72 plate appearances.
Surkamp figures to give Triple-A Oklahoma City another left-handed option with Adam Liberatore having carved out a role with the Dodgers.
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