Surkamp goes for tests on sore elbow

March 26, 2012, 7:32 pm
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Monday should have provided all good omens for Eric Surkamp. One of his prime competitors for rotation depth, Ramon Ortiz, was given his release. Another, Brian Burres, was reassigned to minor league camp.

But Surkamp's outlook was far from rosy.

He went for an MRI exam on his left elbow and is awaiting results. Surkamp didn't bounce back after throwing 90 pitches on Wednesday; he couldn't even loosen up enough to play catch the previous two days.

"I tried and I just couldn't do it," the 24-year-old left-hander said. "I've had normal stuff, soreness and fatigue, when I'm done throwing. But nothing to the point where I miss time."

Surkamp is hoping a week of rest will allow inflammation to calm down. Regardless, the injury comes at a bad time for the Giants, who already were thin on rotation depth. Surkamp was supposed to back up Ryan Vogelsong on Monday, who is making his first Cactus League appearance after missing time with a lower back strain. Vogelsong won't be ready to start the season.

Burres remains in the organization and will begin at Triple-A Fresno. The Giants also might turn to Yusmeiro Petit, who pitched well Saturday after filling out a split-squad roster. Petit started 17 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009 and will get the assignment Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Petit will replace Madison Bumgarner, who will pitch in minor league camp rather than give a free look to an NL West rival.

Expect the Giants to survey the trade market, too -- maybe even fetching an arm for either Ryan Theriot or Mike Fontenot.

Surkamp was having a good spring, with each outing better than the previous one.

"It's disappointing," he said. "I was feeling good. My arm and body were feeling good and I was starting to get there with my stuff. ... Now's the time to get it right."

The Giants will get Arizona's Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Josh Collmenter -- three right-handers -- in the season-opening series that begins April 6 at Chase Field. The Giants will send Tim Lincecum, Bumgarner and Matt Cain.

The Giants will have Barry Zito pitch the opener of the next series April 9 at Coors Field. After that, they have a day off and can skip the No.5 spot. They'll need a fifth starter April 15 and could activate Vogelsong from the disabled list to take the ball if he's ready.

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