Matt Capps Suffers Setback
Under normal circumstances, an injury to a player in camp on a minor league contract might not be seen as a big deal. This isn’t a normal situation. With a handful of open spots up for grabs in their bullpen, the Indians need auditions from as many arms as possible. Thanks to a bum shoulder, right-handed reliever Matt Capps will have to wait to state his case for a spot on the opening day roster.
On Monday afternoon during a long toss session, Capps suffered a strained subscapularis muscle in his right shoulder. Terry Francona revealed the injury to reporters on Thursday, stating that Capps would require two weeks of rest in order to remedy the situation. That means not throwing of any kind, a major problem for a pitcher.
While this proves to be a major setback for Matt Capps and his chances of making the opening day roster, the good news is an MRI showed no structural damage. If you recall, Capps had surgery on that same shoulder last season, June to be exact, after experiencing problems during the spring and throughout the early parts of 2013. Prior to having surgery, Capps was limited to only six games and seven innings of work.
For the Indians, the loss of Matt Capps for the next two weeks is a bit of a blow. While he was in camp on a minor league deal, he has a substantial amount of major league experience, particularly closing out games. Through eight major league seasons split between the Pirates, Nationals, and Twins, Capps has recorded 138 saves with a 3.52 ERA and 120 ERA+. For a team that still does not have a closer officially named (John Axford is penciled in for now), Capps could have played a key role in determining who should be closer.
In the meantime, Capps’ primary job is to get rest and come back healthy and ready to make a run at a spot in the bullpen. If all goes according to plan, he should still have a solid month to show what he either can or can’t do at this point in his career.