The Oakland A's claimed right-hander Nick Tepesch off of waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. To make room for Tepesch on the 40-man roster, the A's designated left-hander Eric Surkamp for assignment.
Tepesch had spent his entire career with the Texas Rangers until June, when he was released off of their Triple-A roster. Tepesch was signed as a minor league free agent by the Dodgers soon thereafter and made a spot start for the Dodgers against the Pirates over the weekend. He was roughed up, allowing five earned runs in four innings. In 14 Triple-A starts this season for Round Rock and Oklahoma City, Tepesch has a 3.66 ERA in 83.2 innings. He has walked only 14, but has struck-out just 48.
Tepesch missed all of last season with right elbow inflammation. He also had surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome. A 14th-round pick of the Rangers in 2010 out of Missouri, Tepesch reached the big leagues with Texas in 2013. He has 43 career major league appearances (40 starts) and a 4.68 ERA at the big league level.
Tepesch isn't a particularly hard thrower, topping out at 92. His slider is his best secondary pitch and he also features a curveball and a change-up. He has never been a strike-out pitcher but has always commanded the ball well. In some ways, his scouting report is the mirror image of Surkamp, who Tepesch replaces on the A's starting pitching depth chart.
Surkamp never got it going at the big league level for the A's this season. In nine big league starts, he had a 6.98 ERA and 21 walks in 38.2 innings. He also allowed eight homeruns. Surkamp had a 3.07 ERA in five starts for Nashville this season.