Eric Surkamp, former prospect and one of the last vestiges of rotation depth in the system, has been designated for assignment to make room for Michael Morse. Here are reasons not to freak out just yet:
1. Every team has a roster crunch right now. The ones who had room filled spots in the Rule 5 draft. The ones who didn't have room still don't. The odds are decent that Surkamp makes it back around.
2. The Giants might not have a lot of confidence in Surkamp's recovery, or they haven't seen exactly what they wanted to see just yet. That's just speculation, of course. But it seems important to note that for all the times I like to pretend I know what's going on, here's one where it's probably smarter to back away, hands in the air, and think the Giants know something we don't. The strikeout rate dropped precipitously, after all.
3. Jose De Paula is pretty much the same pitcher, give or take. How many soft-tossing, left-handed control mavens does a team need in Triple A?
Now let's get to the reasons to freak out:
1. WAIT, WHAT HAPPENED TO BRETT PILL IN KOREA? YOU PROMISED. THAT'S STILL A GO, RIGHT?
2. If Surkamp is at, oh, 80 percent, there are at least four or five players I'd rather sneak through waivers. I get that Erik Cordier throws really, really hard, but when you balance the possible need for an extra reliever against the possible need for a rotation fill-in, then divide by the odds of Cordier figuring out how to be effectively wild ... dunno, I'll take Surkamp. And that's just one of the names that sticks out on the 40-man right now.
3. Wait, does this mean the Giants are going to sign a reliever? If both Pill and Surkamp are off, are the Giants going to make a move? I know Chad Qualls is technically off the market, but we need to send a patrol by his house to make sure he isn't on the phone with Giants executives.
Discouraging news, this. If you don't appeal to authority and assume the Giants know something we don't, this move kinda stinks.
I wonder if the Mets would have taken Surkamp and another prospect for Carlos Beltran. Probably.