A day after allowing six runs in 4.2 innings versus the Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A's fifth starter Eric Surkamp is heading back to Triple-A Nashville. The A's have recalled right-handed reliever Andrew Triggs to take Surkamp's spot on the roster for the moment. The A's are likely to promote starter Jesse Hahn to Oakland before Surkamp's next turn in the rotation comes up.
Surkamp made four starts for the A's in April after being added to the roster during the first week of the season when left-hander Felix Doubront landed on the DL with a torn UCL. Surkamp made it through five innings just once and posted a 5.59 ERA. He allowed three homeruns and walked 12 while striking out nine in 19.1 innings. Surkamp was charged with two losses.
Hahn, who lost his spot in the rotation during a tough spring training, has been on the same turn as Surkamp since the start of the season. He began the year with 12 shutout innings for Triple-A Nashville, but allowed four runs over his next 5.2 innings. A series of rain outs impacted Hahn's turn in the rotation, so the A's had him work two short outings last Wednesday and again on Sunday to stay inline with Surkamp. Hahn's command was shaky during those two shorter outings, but, given the shifting in his pitching schedule, it isn't too alarming a development. Hahn has a 2.00 GO/AO for Nashville this season and has yet to allow a homerun in 17.2 innings.
Triggs will be making his major-league debut when he joins the A's in Detroit. The sidearming right-hander was acquired off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles this spring. Triggs was a 19th-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2012. He has a career minor league ERA of 2.11 and a 241:54 K:BB in 243 innings. A groundball pitcher, Triggs has allowed just seven homeruns during his career. He had a 5.14 ERA in seven innings with Nashville thus far this year, but three of the four earned runs he allowed this season came in one outing.
In an interview earlier this month, A's minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson compared Triggs to former A's reliever Dan Otero:
"I see him doing the same things that Dan did. I see him getting a ton of groundballs," Patterson said. "He might not strike-out a ton, but he can spin a breaking ball, cut fastballs into lefties and sink it away to righties. I see him being a big help, not only in the minor leagues but the big league club, too. As you know, the first 13 are never the only ones that stay there all year. And what a pleasure to be around him. He is a true professional."