Once upon a time, the Giants had high hopes for lefty starter Eric Surkamp.
Now, after being waived by San Francisco in 2013 and bouncing from the White Sox to the Dodgers over the last two seasons, Surkamp signed a minor league deal with the A's in December.
And in an attempt to get a good look at what he has in Surkamp, A's manager Bob Melvin announced Monday that the 28-year-old will start the team's first spring training game on Thursday against the Angels.
“We want to take a look at him. It looks like there’s some deception. He’s tall, long arm swing. The ball looks like it has some subtle movement to it. Looking at his numbers from the past, it looks like he commands the baseball pretty well,” Melvin told reporters Monday in Mesa, Ariz.
Originally a sixth-round pick by the Giants in 2008 out of North Carolina State, Surkamp reached the majors in 2011 and posted a 5.74 ERA in six starts for the Giants. After missing the entire 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery, Surkamp made one appearance for the Giants in 2013.
The lefty saw the best success of his career with the White Sox in 2014 when he made 35 relief appearances to the tune of a 4.81 ERA. Last season, he pitched in just one game for the Dodgers and gave up four earned runs in 3.1 innings.
Surkamp spent four straight seasons (2009-2012) in Baseball America's Top 30 Giants prospects, peaking at No. 7 in 2011.