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

9 Comments

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.

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

mlb
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
0 Comments

NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.