Capps elected free agency, Baseball America reports. Capps has been devastated by injuries recently, registering just 12.1 major-league innings over the past three seasons thanks to a pair of significant procedures (Tommy John surgery in March of 2016 followed by surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in September of 2017). He spent all of the 2018 campaign on the farm, posting a combined 3.79 ERA and 9.2 K/9 across three stops (Low-A Tri-City, High-A Lake Elsinore and Triple-A El Paso). Still just 28 years old, Capps will look to latch on elsewhere and revive his once-promising career as a dominant back-end arm (1.16 ERA, 16.8 K/9 in 2015).
Capps has made two appearances at short-season Tri-City this season, allowing one run on four hits and no walks and striking out three over two innings. After being outrighted off the Padres' 40-man roster in late March, Capps stuck around at San Diego's spring training facility to continue working on his mechanics. Capps, who posted a 1.16 ERA and 58:7 K:BB over 31 frames for the Marlins in 2015, has since seen his career fall by the wayside the past three seasons. The right-hander's 2016 campaign was wiped out by Tommy John surgery in March of that year, and he was limited to only 11 appearances with San Diego in 2017 before undergoing surgery last September to address thoracic outlet syndrome. In addition to Capps' health complications, the MLB declared the hop-step delivery he used to great success in 2015 illegal, forcing him to overhaul his mechanics. While it's good to see that Capps is at least back on the mound, he has a long way to go before resurfacing in a big-league bullpen.
Capps was outrighted to Triple-A El Paso on Monday. Capps, who has been marred by injuries since his breakout season with the Marlins in 2015, will stick in the Padres' organization after passing through waivers unclaimed. The 27-year-old underwent surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in September and was said to be healthy entering camp, but the team opted to designate him for assignment in order to open up a 40-man roster spot after Capps failed to show the electric stuff that prompted the Padres to acquire him back in 2016. He'll now report to El Paso, where he'll look to regain his dominant form with the hope of rejoining the big-league bullpen at some point in 2018.
Capps (shoulder) will pitch in one of Sunday's split-squad games, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in September, so it's great that he will be able to return to game action this early in spring training. Capps was a strikeout machine when he was healthy with the Marlins in 2014 and 2015, but injuries have limited his availability and effectiveness since then. The Padres will likely deploy him in the middle innings, but if his stuff rebounds, he could start working in a setup capacity.
Manager Andy Green said Thursday that Capps (shoulder) is "close to pitching in games," Bill Center of MLB.com reports. Green indicated that Capps pitched live batting practice Thursday which the team hopes will be his final session. The 27-year-old underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in late September and could potentially be ready by Opening Day, and how the shoulder handles a more regular workload should provide more clarity on the likelihood of his availability.
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