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White Sox claim Eric Surkamp, Jays claim Brent Morel

Left-handed pitcher from Giants adds pitching depth

Eric Surkamp
Eric Surkamp
Tony Medina

The White Sox have claimed LHP Eric Surkamp off of waivers from the San Francisco Giants. Surkamp figures to be another possible candidate for the starting rotation and generally adds some left-handed pitching depth to a team that still sorely lacks it.

The 26-year-old has seven major league starts with little success: 29.1 IP, 41 H, 18 BB, 13 K, 25 R. Six of those starts came late in 2011. The following spring training he tore his flexor tendon and had Tommy John surgery, missing all of 2012.

He was a well-regarded prospect, ranking in Baseball America's Giants top ten for both 2011 and 2012.  The Cincinnati, Ohio native (oh, look, an Archbishop Moeller alumnus - wild guess, Buddy Bell drove this claim) has a fastball that sits in the upper 80s and his main secondary offerings are a curve and changeup. Pre-injury, his curve was considered a plus pitch and his change was at least average. Brooks Baseball says Surkamp's fastball is a four-seamer but the reports I've read all discuss his fastball having sink or being a two-seamer. He also dabbles with a cutter, an area I'm sure Don Cooper will attempt to refine with his magic Coopdust.

His minor league numbers were always impressive but he also always got the skepticism associated with a soft-tossing, strike-throwing lefty. His major league numbers certainly did nothing to allay that skepticism. However, he does have a funky delivery that adds deception and likely the perception of a somewhat more velocity.

Surkamp has one minor league option remaining.

In related news, the Blue Jays claimed Brent Morel. The 40-man roster is at 40. When Scott Downs passes his physical, the White Sox will need to free up a roster spot.