Matt Capps seemed a little out of place in the Indians’ clubhouse at the beginning of spring training.
At 29, Capps is already a veteran closer, but the Tribe didn’t need a closer. Chris Perez has that job. How about a setup man? Vinnie Pestano does that chore.
Didn’t any other team need a guy who could save games with regularity? Why was Capps saddled with a minor-league contract? Why did he fail to latch on with a team until January? Isn’t he overqualified to be trying out for a job as a middle reliever?
This is a pitcher who saved 42 games for the Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals in 2010, when he compiled a 2.47 ERA working 73 innings. Come to think of it, maybe that was part of the problem. All those innings.
During the next two years, Capps remained the Twins’ closer, but his production dropped to 15 saves in 2011 and 14 in 2012, even though he blew only one last season. Granted, the Twins struggled to get to their closer in those two years, but they didn’t mind letting Capps walk in October.
It took so long for Capps to find a job because he spent two stints on the disabled list in 2012. But it’s not the number of times he was put on the DL, but why. His shoulder ached, and that is the reddest of red flags to teams.
An elbow injury, even one that requires surgery, can be resolved, even though a pitcher might miss a year. A shoulder injury is more problematic, though Capps didn’t need surgery.
“It was irritation in the rotator cuff,’’ Capps said. “Fortunately, it’s more in the muscle, and that should heal by itself, and for the most part I think it has.”
Matt Capps finds health, strength with each outing
Akron Beacon Journal | Mar 13