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Sooooo.... Capps

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#1 asmus_ndsu

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:37 PM

Haven't seen a lot of chatter about Capps this spring and how abysmal he's been performing. I know it's spring but I thought the twins signed this guy because they believed that last year was a fluke. It's looking like he's just continuing the same performance. Guy has a near 6 era over 11 innings (a fair Sample for a closer IMO) 14 h 4 hr and a 307 opponent avg. are we really gonna trust this guy for the whole season. I really hope they don't just keep him in there because of his contract if he doesn't improve.

#2 powrwrap

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:19 PM

Haven't seen a lot of chatter about Capps this spring and how abysmal he's been performing. I know it's spring but I thought the twins signed this guy because they believed that last year was a fluke. It's looking like he's just continuing the same performance. Guy has a near 6 era over 11 innings (a fair Sample for a closer IMO) 14 h 4 hr and a 307 opponent avg. are we really gonna trust this guy for the whole season. I really hope they don't just keep him in there because of his contract if he doesn't improve.


I've never liked Capps. He's going to be terrible (again.)
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#3 jorgenswest

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:19 PM

My best hope is that he has the luck of the small sample size by the all star break and the illusion generates trade interest. Contenders are always looking for bullpen help. With astounding luck, maybe we can sucker someone into giving up a Wilson Ramos level prospect. Ok... I guess the last part is unreasonable.

#4 Nick Nelson

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:31 PM

Hard to make much out of a 11-inning sample, especially in spring training, but Capps has 4 HR allowed and only 5 strikeouts. That's a little scary in light of last year.

#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:34 PM

Definitely alarming, although as others have said, spring training is different... The hope is that when he hits the mound with the adrenaline of the regular season and save situations, he'll step up. We all know he's going to make things interesting frequently... the hope is that he'll record three outs before giving up leads. (I'm not confident in him either, but we shall see)

#6 powrwrap

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:06 PM

The hope is that when he hits the mound with the adrenaline of the regular season and save situations, he'll step up.


So professional athletes can simply will themselves to be better when they need to be? Like turning on a switch, eh? "I don't need to be very good today, but tomorrow, hoo boy!"
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#7 caseintheface

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

At the beginning of spring training there were a lot of articles about how the team appreciated Matt's willingness to pitch last year despite the fact that he was hurting, about how he hasn't run away and about how he wants to redeem himself in the eyes of the local fan base that got use to booing him off the field last year. Since then however most media members have quietly avoided the subject of Matt Capps as he has done nothing during spring training to quell the notion that last year was an anomaly except for a few quick references to a so called new pitch (split-finger fastball apparently). So far this spring Capps as nearly as many homeruns allowed (4) as strikeouts (5). Certainly cause for concern no matter how "meaningless" spring stats are. You'd think at some point as a professional he'd simply take a step back and realize that he should stick to eating meat and not serving it up to opposing hitters. If his fastball and slider remain flat, and his new found split-finger turns out to be a mere floater pitch... buckle up.

Edited by caseintheface, 02 April 2012 - 06:16 PM.


#8 Thrylos

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:20 PM

There has been a lot of talk about Capps developing a split finger FB this Spring and he admitted that it was not quite there. Maybe he was tossing few of those in the HRs. ST numbers are fairly meaningless for established pitchers who do not have to face competition. Let's see how he does a week into the season...
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#9 spideyo

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:31 PM

On the "30 teams in 30 days" special, the MLB network dude said he showed Capps how to throw a splitter "the right way" or something like that

#10 Highabove

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:42 PM


This was written in Spring Training before Capps's 2010 42 Save Season, Sound familiar?
He ended up having a very good year.

Matt Capps's rough spring and morning links


Each time Matt Capps seemed poised to let his pitching announce him ready for the season and the Nationals' closer role, along came an outing like yesterday. He allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in one inning. In 10 2/3 innings, Capps has allowed 10 runs, 16 hits and seven walks. Whenever the struggles seemed to be left behind, they came back.
"I felt great," Capps said yesterday. "It was a mechanical thing. I couldn't make that adjustment when I was out there, for whatever reason. Really, the last four or five times out I feel I've gotten where I wanted to get. Today was just a mechanical thing. As far as being ready for the season, I feel like I'm there."
The Nationals play twice more in Florida and once at Nationals Park before the regular season begins April 5. Capps says he feels physically ready, but he hasn't strung together many outings in which he's been able to keep the ball out of the fat part of the strike zone.
"I think he's as prepared as he can be," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "He didn't get the ball down today. He threw the ball in the wheelhouse to some really good hitters, and they made him pay for it. His velocity has picked up. He seems to be throwing the ball very well. Major league hitters are going to make you pay if it's in that thigh to belt range.
In the dead-tree edition, you can read about the steadiness Josh Willingham brings to the Nationals. Elsewhere, Nyjer Morgan answered questions from fans. Tom Verducci is looking forward to watching the Nationals draft and Stephen Strasburg pitch. With the year's opening series four days away, you can catch up on the Phillies here.

By Adam Kilgore | April 1, 2010; 9:40 AM ET

Edited by Highabove, 02 April 2012 - 08:44 PM.


#11 powrwrap

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

So far this spring Capps as nearly as many homeruns allowed (4) as strikeouts (5). Certainly cause for concern no matter how "meaningless" spring stats are. You'd think at some point as a professional he'd simply take a step back and realize that he should stick to eating meat and not serving it up to opposing hitters. If his fastball and slider remain flat, and his new found split-finger turns out to be a mere floater pitch... buckle up.


Great first post. Welcome to Twins Talk.
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#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:54 PM

So professional athletes can simply will themselves to be better when they need to be? Like turning on a switch, eh? "I don't need to be very good today, but tomorrow, hoo boy!"


That's the theory... And that's the theory we are going to have to go with and hope for with Capps!!

#13 powrwrap

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:13 PM

There has been a lot of talk about Capps developing a split finger FB this Spring and he admitted that it was not quite there. Maybe he was tossing few of those in the HRs.


It would be interesting to find out who hit the HRs off Capps. Ah, here we are:

Mar 9 Rafael Furcal (averages 1 HR per 55 ABs)
Mar 22 Chris Davis (averages 1 HR per 23 ABs)
Mar 31 Michael McKenry (2 HRs in 188 ML ABs; avg. 1 HR per 32 ABs in minors)
Apr 2 Cody Rogers (0 ML ABs; avg. 1 HR per 32 ABs in minors)

Yep, take away Davis and those are scary-ass power hitters that Capps couldn't get out.
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#14 81Exposruledbaseball

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

IF the Twin's are gonna contend this year, and that's a BIG IF, we need a new closer. Mark it down...BS today, "bye" the way.

#15 It's The Trees.

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:31 PM

closers are overrated.

#16 VodkaDave

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:44 PM

I would be interested to see the data on the pitches, if it was the split finger he is trying to develop I wouldn't be super concerned, if it was a 89 MPH fastball down the middle of the plate, it could be a looonnng year.

#17 whydidnt

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:28 PM

I tend to agree that spring training stats aren't typically meaningful. However, it seems obvious that Capps problems last year were too many HRs allowed and too few strikeouts. The numbers this spring seem to confirm those same traits. For the record, I think closers are often overrated, but only if you are willing to run a league average reliever out in the bottom of the ninth. If you are constantly sending a worse than average, or replacement level pitcher out then all bets are off. The game is somewhat close and you can't give up a run or two every other time out there and be effective. All of you that think Terry Ryan is the savior and can walk on water, just remember that his first act upon retaking control was to re-sign Capps at an above market rate. Was there really another major league team that was going to offer Capps 4 Million + an option this year? I think he would have been lucky to get 2.5million from any other team, especially when you see the way the market for relievers played out. It was a terrible move, especially when you consider the Twins were cutting payroll. FWIW, I think Ryan is a decent GM, I just don't think his track record is as great as everyone seems to remember. I think there were a couple of times during his first tenure when the team was just a player away from winning it all and he steadfastly refused to pull the trigger, it seemed like we were always player for the future. I wonder what happens this year if the Twins are a game back at the deadline and they are selling out every game, so ownership tells him he can spend some $. Is he willing to deal someone like Benson or Hicks to land the Ace SP we need? I'm talking a true ace, not someone like Capps. I doubt it.

#18 dave_dw

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:26 AM

closers are overrated.


Speak the truth, brotha!

Last year's best closer Craig Kimbrel lead all relievers in WAR with 3.2. There were a total of 109 starters/hitters that had a higher WAR than he did. In other words, the best relief pitcher last year was easier to replace than over 100 starters/hitters.

It doesn't take a great pitcher to be a closer. Having Capps close (even if it's mediocrely) is great for the Twins because it means that our best reliever, Perkins, can pitch in the higher pressure situations in the 6th-8th innings, and should be able to throw more innings on the season.

#19 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:29 AM

I tend to agree that spring training stats aren't typically meaningful. However, it seems obvious that Capps problems last year were too many HRs allowed and too few strikeouts. The numbers this spring seem to confirm those same traits. For the record, I think closers are often overrated, but only if you are willing to run a league average reliever out in the bottom of the ninth. If you are constantly sending a worse than average, or replacement level pitcher out then all bets are off. The game is somewhat close and you can't give up a run or two every other time out there and be effective.

All of you that think Terry Ryan is the savior and can walk on water, just remember that his first act upon retaking control was to re-sign Capps at an above market rate. Was there really another major league team that was going to offer Capps 4 Million + an option this year? I think he would have been lucky to get 2.5million from any other team, especially when you see the way the market for relievers played out. It was a terrible move, especially when you consider the Twins were cutting payroll. FWIW, I think Ryan is a decent GM, I just don't think his track record is as great as everyone seems to remember. I think there were a couple of times during his first tenure when the team was just a player away from winning it all and he steadfastly refused to pull the trigger, it seemed like we were always player for the future. I wonder what happens this year if the Twins are a game back at the deadline and they are selling out every game, so ownership tells him he can spend some $. Is he willing to deal someone like Benson or Hicks to land the Ace SP we need? I'm talking a true ace, not someone like Capps. I doubt it.


Other than the Twins talking points, I don't know anyone who sung the praises of that signing... especially since we lost a high draft pick in the process. For what was paid, we could have picked up two pretty decent relievers and left an open competition for the closers role.

As for the deadline, I'm not sure if we will be buyers or sellers, so I think that's largely moot. Given the state of the farm system, I don't think I'd be willing to trade Benson or Hicks. I'd be open to dealing an DB Romero/Angel Morales if they were to break out, but no one would want just that. They'd ask for Sano and Arcia. The Twins would be better off getting in a bidding war for the ace than to trade unless someone is having a firesale and parts with one cheaply.

#20 I Miss Frank Eufemia

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:56 AM

Capps will be alright this year. Not great, but decent. ERA in the low 4s, WHIP around 1.3. Serviceable for a team I expect to win around half of its games. And have you seen Nathan's spring numbers? Ouch. I think come July we'll all be very glad that Joe decided to walk.
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#21 LimestoneBaggy

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:58 AM

In an attempt to quell my residual anger from a certain trade that will not be mentioned..... I'm going with the belief that splitter-happens this Spring. But as to sample size, take a look at the following link compared to the regular season stats.

2009 Spring Training http://espn.go.com/m...2009/type/pitch
2009 Regular Season http://www.baseball-.../MIN/2009.shtml
--> Vast assumption is that these are accurate.

Some numbers track into the regular season, some don't.

Spring Training is a time for the coaches to evaluate new talent, and for the established veterans to work on stuff. No matter how much fun it is to try and rely on the Spring stats (and I fall into this trap myself every year), we just won't know how bad he is, I mean how well he does, until the year starts.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:08 AM

I predict he'll be about league median for closers, meaning nothing special. He'll "save" 80% of his opportunities. Hopefully he overachieves and some other club that over values closers will trade for him.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#23 Harrison Greeley III

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:12 AM

I predict he'll be about league median for closers, meaning nothing special. He'll "save" 80% of his opportunities. Hopefully he overachieves and some other club that over values closers will trade for him.


Is it possible for the Twins to trade him to themselves?

#24 StormJH1

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

I wasn't a fan of the Capps for Ramos deal, wasn't a fan of resigning him instead of signing multiple other relievers for the same price (and getting yet another pick), and generally am not a fan of Capps. BUT...let's keep this in perspective. People are talking about the guy like he's complete garbage, and he isn't. He's had 6 big-league full seasons, and four of them have been excellent. He rebounded from a terrible 2009 to close games for both the Nationals and Twins in 2010, and for what that job requires (which isn't much), he did pretty good. I refuse to believe there wasn't something wrong with him last year. Throughout his career, he's never been a "flamethrower", but he could strikeout 7.0+ per nine innings. Last year, that dipped to an abysmal 4.7 K/9. And yet, because he has excellent control for a loser, the end result was a 4.25 ERA and a still very good WHIP of 1.20. In fact, he has a career WHIP of 1.197, which basically means that he doesn't let many people on base. This is the direction we went. It's not the direction we wanted, but this bullpen is now very shallow and Capps and Perkins are really the only two guys I trust to any degree coming out of it. I understand that he's frustrating for the fans to watch, and he has seemed prone to a few dramatic blowups where everything goes wrong at once. But I'm also not prepared to completely abandon him as a Twins fan just because he had one bad year, which wasn't even that big of a disaster. If you believe at all in a track record, the odds are in favor of Capps bouncing back and being useful this year.

#25 81Exposruledbaseball

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 02:35 PM

but blown-saves are not...

#26 twinsnorth49

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:28 AM

So Weaver, Sabathia, Holland et all won't be able to step up their games and will all end up with ERA's over 5.00? Professional athletes change their focus based on the stakes, I expect his execution to be much better once the season begins, we'll see if that's good enough. Perhaps we should have kept Nathan, his ERA is over 10.00, granted it's only over 7 innings but if I were the Rangers I wouldn't be too ecstatic about the $14 million I just spent.....not that I don't love Joe.

#27 StormJH1

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:45 AM

So Weaver, Sabathia, Holland et all won't be able to step up their games and will all end up with ERA's over 5.00? Professional athletes change their focus based on the stakes, I expect his execution to be much better once the season begins, we'll see if that's good enough.

Perhaps we should have kept Nathan, his ERA is over 10.00, granted it's only over 7 innings but if I were the Rangers I wouldn't be too ecstatic about the $14 million I just spent.....not that I don't love Joe.

That Rangers team is loaded. Nathan's second-half performance last year (after he got some time to get his arm back) was actually pretty good. Granted, the stakes weren't exactly that high, and the knock on Nathan (for me anyway) was that he tended to implode at the worst possible times in September pennant runs or in the ALDS. He was a dominant reliever for many years, but his success was inflated to a degree by the fact that he got to fan out wussy Indians and Royals lineups over and over again. And since he's only brought into the game against a team we're already beating, it's not like he even had that many opportunities to pitch in the 9th against the Yankees and Red Sox.

Nathan can fail and they still have Mike Adams and Uehara. Or could shift Feliz back to the pen. The TWINS have far worse concerns with their bullpen, for sure.

#28 SweetOne69

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:22 AM

Many players, especially pitchers experiment in ST. Pitchers work on new pitches and try to get a feel for their regular ones. I'm with Thrylos, we don't know what pitches he was throwing when he gave up those dingers. If his line looks the similar on May 1, then I will be concerned.

#29 John Bonnes

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:54 AM

Well, I'm concerned, and I don't think it is foolish to be so. Whether Capps was trying to work on a new pitch, or whether he wasn't at full strength last year - we know these things because Capps was saying after the fact. He has literally done nothing over most of last year and this year to inspire confidence, and so I don't feel foolish being ill at ease. The good news is that there's still Perkins. That might just mean Capps blows leads earlier in the game, but at least that means it's earlier in the game, when the Twins have an opportunity to come back.

#30 John Bonnes

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

closers are overrated.


Closers might be, but blown saves are not. Let's do some back-of-the-napkin figuring....

Capps blew 40% of the games he was trying to save last year, an absurd percentage. The average closer, even if he's trying to protect just a one-run lead, converts something like 90%.

A closer on a good team is asked to save about 50 games. The difference between blowing 5 of them (90%) and 15 of them (70%) is a ten game swing. And because they happen in the ninth inning, the team generally has very little chance to come back from them. Even if they just to go extra innings, that's a five game swing, which is huge for a competitive team.

"Closers are overrated" can mean a lot of things - they've overpaid, they're babied, etc. So I don't know what that means. Instead, I'll state a truth is so obvious as to make the statement itself absurd: it's REALLY important to protect a close lead in the ninth inning. And the guy that the Twins are giving that role to has been really bad at it, and didn't inspire any hope this spring that he's got any better at it.