SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants left-hander Eric Surkamp, who entered the spring hoping to push Barry Zito for a spot in the rotation, will end up not throwing a pitch in 2012.
Surkamp, whose elbow began to grind toward the end of the spring, underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday to reconstruct his ulnar collateral ligament, Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced. Recovery time is at least 12 months.
Surkamp, 25, was 2-2 with a 5.74 ERA in six starts for the Giants down the stretch last season. He had been promoted while leading the Double-A Eastern League in ERA and strikeouts. A sixth-round draftee out of North Carolina State in 2008, Surkamp has a fastball that brushes 90 mph but threw an impressive curveball and changeup.
Surkamp had spent the past several months throwing at the Giants' minor league complex in Arizona but kept hitting a plateau as he tried to build arm strength.