Carter Capps was shipped to the Padres in July as part of the Andrew Cashner deal, despite the fact that he was just four months removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery. With the move, Capps should have a clear path to the ninth inning, after riding shotgun to A.J. Ramos during his time with the Marlins. The hard-throwing righty posted a gaudy 16.8 K/9 (49.2 percent strikeout rate) buoyed by a 25.4 percent swinging-strike rate with good control (2.0 BB/9) before suffering his elbow injury in the second half of 2015. Before going under the knife, Capps averaged 98.1 mph on his fastball, while mixing that offering with a nasty slider. Assuming that he everything goes as planned with the final stages of his recovery, he may be ready for Opening Day, and there is an excellent chance he will assume the closer role at some point soon after his return to the mound.
The Padres may not push Capps (elbow) to be ready by Opening Day, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The hard-throwing righty has yet to appear in a spring training game after undergoing Tommy John surgery last March. He has been getting work in non-game settings over the past couple of weeks, but he will have to make his Cactus League debut soon if he wants to have a serious shot at challenging Brandon Maurer for the Padres' closer role to begin the regular season. San Diego could always place Capps on the disabled list to begin the year and allow him to completely heal before making his regular season debut. That scenario would obviously put a slight dent in his value, but it doesn't sound like there is any sort of setback, so we should still anticipate an early-season debut.
Capps' unorthodox pitch delivery likely will remain legal despite the MLB rule change regarding similar windups, Dennis Lin of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. In his first spring activities this season as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery, Capps "appeared to deviate from the accepted motion in his opening bullpen session of the spring; instead of dragging his push-off foot, he was taking a second small hop," per Lin. His normal motion follows the newly outlined rules, per sources, and manager Andy Green maintained his hurler doesn't need to adjust his pitching motion. Even if he doesn't get save chances early in the season, he'll wind up holding value in mixed leagues sometime this year if he can regain his elite strikeout ceiling. Of course, with only about a year removed from TJ surgery, fantasy owners shouldn't rush that outcome.
Capps (elbow) and manager Andy Green contend that the right-hander's delivery is legal, despite MLB's passing of a rule change that brings it into question, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. The pitcher argues he does not believe he resets his pivot foot, which is the crux of the recent bylaw revision, which states: "A pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate with either foot or otherwise reset his pivot foot in delivery." Capps, who's already dealing with a recovery from Tommy John surgery, may also have to appeal to the league to keep his delivery. Any alteration he'd have to make to his pitching motion could further stall a return to game action or fantasy-relevant innings. While a healthy Capps has big strikeout upside in fantasy leagues, Brandon Maurer looks safer for save chances than originally thought for the outset of the 2017 season.
Capps (elbow) will be eased into game action this spring, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Capps, who underwent Tommy John surgery last March, will likely throw a simulated game before making his spring debut in a couple weeks. The right-hander has been steadily progressing in his rehab work and his ultimate goal is to be ready for Opening Day. Capps showed great promise in his last major league season, when he compiled a 1.16 ERA over 30 games with Miami in 2015, but he'll need to work his way back to full strength before returning to major league form.
Capps (elbow) threw to hitters for the first time this spring in a live batting practice session Monday, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last March, but he's been progressing steadily through his rehab process over the offseason. He only resumed mound work at the beginning of February, but Capps still thinks he can be ready for Opening Day. How realistic this goal truly is will likely be determined once he manages to get back into game action, but this step is a positive one nonetheless.