Why the Dodgers called up Eric Surkamp and started Yimi Garcia

Why the Dodgers called up Eric Surkamp and started Yimi Garcia
Dodgers reliever Yimi Garcia pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning on May 31. (Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images)

The Dodgers brought up starter Eric Surkamp from triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday … and decided to fill their rotation hole with reliever Yimi Garcia?

Well, not exactly. Garcia will start all right, but the right-hander won't be around long. Two innings would be his max, the Dodgers then would be able to hit for him possibly as early as the second inning and bring on the left-handed Surkamp.


This has the potential to do two things: get an extra hitter into the game early for the Dodgers and possibly create a little havoc in the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup. There are four left-handed hitters in their lineup.

Garcia will start and be gone early.

“I can’t see him getting an at-bat,” said Manager Don Mattingly.

Mattingly said he did not view Monday as a bullpen-type game, which probably means once Surkamp is in the game, the Dodgers will ride him as long as they can. The Dodgers picked him up May 22 from the Chicago White Sox for right-hander Blake Smith.

Surkamp was 4-0 with a 2.89 earned-run average in his last five games (four starts) since June 8 and has combined to go 7-2 with one save and a 3.77 ERA in 18 games (seven starts) with triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Oklahoma City this year.

To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers moved right-hander Paco Rodriguez to the 60-day disabled list. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, they sent down left-handed reliever Daniel Coulombe back to triple A. Coulombe threw two innings Sunday in his sixth stint with the team this year.