Giants to call up prospect Eric Surkamp for start tonight against Astros

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According to Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants will call up prospect left-hander Eric Surkamp to make his major league debut tonight against the Astros.

Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito are both sidelined with ankle sprains and Dan Runzler gave up four runs on three hits and three walks over 1 2/3 innings in his first major league start last Sunday against the Astros, so Surkamp will be asked to serve as the fifth starter for the time being.

Surkamp, 24, has improved his stock this season by posting a 2.02 ERA and 165/44 K/BB ratio over 142 1/3 innings with Double-A Richmond. He has averaged 10.7 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 over parts of four seasons in the minor leagues. The 2008 sixth-round pick isn’t a hard thrower, but his changeup and curveball are considered plus-pitches.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.