Carter Capps on a Gray January Day

... when do pitchers report, again?!

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=== The Term "GREAT STUFF" Gets Tossed Around a Lot These Days .... ===

If you've got nothing Mariners that's better to do right now, head to MLB.com and enjoy this particular Capps vid.  G'wan, nothing wrong with a little sunshine and baseball.  Pitchers report in like four days, right?

Capps' first heater is so hard to see that a lefty batter, Josh Reddick, swings over the top of it.  Ya don't swing over fastballs when ya miss 'em; ya swing underneath 'em, 'cause of the angle of the swing arc and the 'rise' of the pitch.  Watch it again and you'll see that Reddick pulls one of those Nolan Ryan "C'mon, ump, anybody could hear that pitch was low" moments.

Capps' second heater lights up the red 100 font on the radar gun and you can just feel the seismo register as it SLAMMMMS into Olivo's mitt.  Cespedes' demoralization is palpable.  One time David Henderson took a first pitch like this and said, "Wow.  Too tough to even BUNT that pitch.  How are you supposed to hit it?"

The rest of the fastballs are pretty easy on the eyes, too.  :- )  This moment brought to you by Stars & Scrubs.

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Jeff Sullivan presents a wonderful little Brothers Grimm tale that ends with the troll of Capps' slider waiting under the bridge to feast on Billy Goat Trout.  "Look at where the breaking ball is CAUGHT, and consider that MLB GameDay has it touching the border of the strike zone at the FRONT OF THE PLATE," Jeffy sez, emphasis added.  "That's how much that pitch moved."

He points out this little leaderboard that reminds us of just exactly where Capps' fastball resides in baseball's pantheon.

...........

Here is an SSI article from last year that reminds us of the effect of Capps' 89 mph changeup.  That change is Capp's third pitch, but it is MUCH farther along than people realize it is (except, of course, for you the discerning SSI consumer).  The arm action on it is Major League from the word Go. 

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=== Career Arc ===

When Capps first came up to Safeco, he was as terrified as any rookie pitcher that Dr. D has ever seen ... up to and including that kid who thanked Albert Brooks' confidence by yak'king on the mound in his tryout.  

Capps' arm slot, first coupla games, was all over the place, and in Capps' very first game MRS. Detecto pointed out that he threw 99 sidearm, 94 overhand.

It took Capps right about 10 games to shake the jitters out, and his arm slot quickly grooved in.  His tempo measurably smoothed out.  His velocity started sustaining at 98-100.  And pesky rodent enemy managers starting hiding the women, children, and Mike Trouts.  Here's the SSI article that sidecars the video you started with.

............

Dr. D was attracted to Capps' starter's rhythm, and the Randy Johnson arm slot.  He banged the drum for a Chris Sale conversion, and Terry McDermott spoke to a couple of people in the M's org about it, one of them being a shot-caller. The impression:  Capps would need more control of his breaking ball before such a thing could be considered.

Well, sure, you want to see him throw a slider for a strike on 2-0 once in a while.  The thing is, Capps was doing that, in September; it's not like his slider is rudimentary.  Why they can put up with breaking balls the caliber of Beavan's and Noesi's, but Carter Capps has got to hit a Michael Pineda standard, you tell me.

NEXT

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moethedogAnd a BTW: I would have bet anything, when I heard of the deal, that the next would basically be Smoak for Rios...and that it would follow within the hour. I was wrong.7 hours 35 min ago
moethedogWas on the way to pick my youngest daughter up at basketball camp today, listening to MLB Radio, when they announced the Morales trade. They gave kudos to Jack for pulling it off, saying he had been at if for weeks. If this trade took weeks to work out something is amiss. They ask for ERam, we offer Pries, we meet in the middle with Pryor. This one should take 3 minutes.7 hours 53 min ago
moethedogIf trading a 25 year old pitcher with 32 MLB innings for a guy signed for the next 55 games takes weeks then any complicated trade might take decades. It is time to release Hart and Endy, btw. Hart was a good/low cost roll of the dice...but one that crapped out. We've got more out of Endy than we could have expected. Remember the 70's line, "If you love something set it free!?" Let's free these guys. BTW (again) there must be a follow up move to the Morales/Pryor trade. This does nothing...nothing...for our gaping COF hole...unless you believe that Hart is a RF'er. At least Stubbs would be something...but he was available more than a month ago. I believe we vapor locked, focusing on the Rays so much.7 hours 54 min ago
phxterryRandom thoughts on tonight's game: 1) If Hart fields that hot shot cleanly in the third inning and turns a DP, Iwakuma gets out of the inning with only 2 runs against him instead of 4. IMO, both LoDog and the Smoakamotive field that ball and turn the DP. 2) I had no idea that Chen was such a good pitcher. Or maybe the M's just made him look good. 3) From the "How the Mighty Have Fallen File" - Endy freakin Chavez pinch hit for Hart tonight in the 9th inning. Can the end of the Hart era be far away? 4) M's officially behind both the Yankees and the Blue Jays for the second WC spot after tonight. 5) M's 12th shutout loss this year. 6) Are the M's the worst base-running team in the AL?8 hours 37 min ago
bsrGood thing we had our "lefty masher" Montero up for this game against a mediocre lefty. Unfortunately he's not a righty masher, so he had to sit in the 9th inning. Thankfully we had situational weapon LoMo on the bench, focused and ready to hit some weak foul balls then watch a 79 MPH pitch float by him for a called strike three to end the game.8 hours 38 min ago
bsrBut hey, he's got company. That's 12 shutouts against the M's in 102 games this year.8 hours 43 min ago
bsrHey now, Hector Noesi has thrown 9.2 shutout innings against us this year...8 hours 46 min ago
bsrEndy Chavez, pinch "hitting" for Corey Hart. Yeah, I think the Hart signing has not worked out as hoped.8 hours 51 min ago
tjmWow. PH Endy for Hart. What's that tell you about Hart? Why is he on the team if you're pinch-hitting him with one of the worst hitters in MLB?8 hours 51 min ago
SABR MattBrutal game. This team is a friggin' joke. And I don't get it.9 hours 48 sec ago
MtGrizzlyFun gif for the Montero fans: http://gfycat.com/ImprobableAptAmericancrayfish#9 hours 41 min ago
Gordon GrossHector's still got a 5+ ERA for the year, terry. He has those good games when he can keep guys off base. Giving up a .800+ OPS against EVERY hitter this year. He might get better, but one game does not a good season make. Halama threw a no-hitter AND a perfect game.10 hours 5 min ago
IcebreakerXHart is like a falling tree at first. And Kuma is having an awful night.10 hours 41 min ago
Bat571Cooper is some kind of pitching coach.10 hours 44 min ago
phxterryFrom "They Always Get Better After They Leave" File: Hector Noesi through 7 innings tonight against the Twinkies: 0 runs, 1 hit.11 hours 16 min ago
phxterryIsn't there general agreement in the latest ballball theory that Teams should bat their best player second in the line-up?? Kind of like how the Angels bat Mike Trout second? Well, the Angels have nothing on the M's. Tonight, playing right field for the M's and batting second is ........... (drum roll)..... Stefen Romero, he of the .199/.240/.317 2014 slash line. Hope Iwakuma is sharp tonight. Go M's.11 hours 40 min ago
IcebreakerXMy favorite comment on LL about this (slightly modified)... Howie: "You have proven your superior intellect and defeated the plans of Kendrys Morales. You do not need to defeat him again." Z: “He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him. I’ll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares Maelstrom and round Perdition’s Flames before I give him up!”12 hours 19 min ago
phxterryLatest rumor is that GMZ has traded a sore-armed reliever to KC for Rauuuuuuul, traded a used back-up catcher to SF for Michael Morse, and traded a PTBNL to ESPN for Eric Wedge. And that was before he finished his breakfast Wheaties. Go Jack!!!12 hours 20 min ago
tjmThis pathetic. Z: I have got to thank ownership for allowing us to do this. They have said all along if we get a chance where we think we are in it, then we are going to give you the resources, in this particular case they stepped up and this was great. I really, really appreciate it, we all appreciate it. My hat is off to them. I don't know what else will happen, we will continue conversations."12 hours 26 min ago
GLSI like Stubbs, but his production this year is all about Coors Field. On the road, he's Ackley.12 hours 26 min ago