Where in the World is Carter Capps?

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Credit: MLB.com

Carter Capps was acquired in the Andrew Cashner deal along with Josh Naylor and Jarred Cosart on July 26 of last year.

He is well-known for his funky pitching motion, which has led to many heated debates on its legality. Capps had been a breakout star out of the bullpen for the Marlins in 2015 with his controversial delivery. In 31 innings, he had a 1.16 ERA, with 58 strikeouts and seven walks.

With numbers like that, many people expected Carter Capps to be a big piece in a strong Padres bullpen, even after he had Tommy John surgery last spring training. There was even some talk about him potentially being the Padres’ closer over Brandon Maurer. Unfortunately, that has not been the case for Carter Capps, as he has not played in a single game for the Padres this season.

So. Where has he been?

After Capps broke out of the Padres’ spring training complex in Peoria, he pitched a couple of scoreless innings in High-A Lake Elsinore. After his two innings at Lake Elsinore, Capps was called up to Triple-A El Paso where he got hit around in five innings of work (six hits, five walks, 10 runs, five earned runs, six strikeouts).

After his last outing on April 30, Capps was sent to Arizona to work on his mechanics. On May 31, Capps pitched against live hitters in Arizona, and received mixed reviews on his performance. He had made positive strides, but still had issues with his control and delivery. The quirkiness of his motion is something that has made his road to recovery a little more difficult. Perfecting his mechanics after surgery is a little more complicated than it would be for your average pitcher. Specifically, Andy Green said that they were working with him on “being consistent down the slope” and “keeping his toe on the ground.”  

On June 11 Capps was activated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to El Paso after ironing out some mechanical issues.

Since his return from the DL, he has pitched well in seven innings (one run, one earned run, four walks, three hits, five strikeouts). The Padres would like to see those strikeout totals climb for Capps, but they must be content with the progress he has shown since returning from Arizona. In his last three innings, Capps has struck out four, while allowing no walks or hits. He looks well on his way to joining the Padres. Hopefully, Capps can continue this progression, and find himself as a valuable piece in the back-end of the Padres’ bullpen. Maybe he joins the team once one of the bullpen pieces is traded this deadline. We will have to wait and see.

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