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How About Capps?

Matt Capps was non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates today, meaning he is a free agent.  Capps pitched in 57 games in 2009, but struggled, finishing with a 5.80 ERA.  However, the three years prior to that, he was a very respectable back-end relief pitcher.

The 27-year old made $2.454 million in ’09 and after coming off of a sub-par season, his number may not go up much when it comes to contract demands. He could be a perfect fit for one of the remaining vacancies in the Phillies ‘pen.

Also non-tendered was D.J Carrasco by the White Sox.  Carrasco is 33 and came off a year in which he went 5-1 with a 3.76 ERA in 49 games.

OPINION (11:40 pm): After finding a lot of Capps “haters” following the launch of this post, mostly on facebook (for what its worth), lets break down the pros and cons of the 27-year old former Pirate:


  • Will come cheap: And this means a lot at this point when Billy Wagner is getting $7.5 million and pitching figures as a whole have seemingly skyrocketed.
  • Decent track record:  His combined ERA from 2006-08 was 3.05.  He allowed just 18 earned runs in 2008 and sported a miniscule 0.97 WHIP, which was good for 6th best in the NL.  So, we’re just one year removed from a very, very steady season by Capps, and a great three-year run overall.
  • His age means he can still return to his form from a couple of seasons ago.


  • His batting average against suggests he’s very average. Capps career BAA is .261, however, last season it ballooned to .324.  Still, in ’08, it was just .234
  • Ten home runs allowed in just 54 innings is cause for concern, especially in our little bandbox. Before ’09, however, Capps gave up just 10 in 2007 and 2008 combined.
  • Hits per/9 in ’09: 12.1.  Yikes.  But, again, those numbers are deviate from his career stats.

Overall, if you break Capps down, he seems to make some sense as a possibility.  Last season appears to be an anomaly compared to the rest of his career, which has been surprisingly stellar, even in Pittsburgh.

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