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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rick82Ackley played some very good defense tonight as well. He's rated the #2 defensive left fielder in baseball over at Fangraphs.3 hours 57 sec ago
Bat571Gordon Edes now says Cardinals. Dodgers, Pirates, BlueJays, Orioles, and Athletics are in on Lester. Others saying BlueJays/Orioles offers would have to be clearly better than others for Boston to trade in the division. How Oakland can compete with Pirates, Dodgers, or Cardinals on the prospect front (or the M's) is beyond me. Interesting. But this sounds like M's are out of it, never were in it, or are stealthily in the weeds on it. I'm betting they're closer to in it than the A's or the AL East teams, but that Boston is trying to get a St. Louis - Pittsburgh bidding war going and are ignoring the others for the most part.3 hours 2 min ago
bsrWasn't me who said that. Really we think that? I thought it was a pretty comical and lighthearted (and honest) comment. I mean...our lineup is by far the worst in the league, like they don't know it? If anything I'd see them wanting to prove the guy wrong for ragging on them. “I don’t know how we’re doing it. We’re just so offensively challenged. Other teams have a shotgun. We’ve got a BB gun. So we shoot them between the eyes, and try to get the hell out of town before they know what hit them.”3 hours 6 min ago
mojicianLloyd is possibly the most fun Mariner. You may be right that his BB gun comment deflated the team.3 hours 24 min ago
bsrSome interesting flavor on Ackley's hitting struggles in this Drayer piece. Both McC and Ackley say he puts too much pressure on himself and tries to do too much, especially when he's been slotted at the top of the lineup (do we still have to argue with the stat crowd about whether lineup position matters to player performance?). Supposedly he is making progress toward maturing and feeling more comfortable staying within himself. That would be wonderful. I have to say I really like Lloyd and his no nonsense honesty in interviews. Seems to relate well to the players too. (http://mynorthwest.com/374/2574155/Notebook-Second-time-might-be-the-charm-for-Ackley-hitting-No-2)3 hours 32 min ago
rick82Name the bat(s) you'd take, straight up.4 hours 38 min ago
SABR MattStill think Walker is wildly inconsistent mechanically. Would gladly trade him for a worthwhile bat.4 hours 42 min ago
rick82Walker had a good number of swinging K's tonight. Gave up a couple homers. Of course, when Montero hits homers in Salt Lake, people say it don't count, so, take it either way, but be consistent.4 hours 49 min ago
SABR MattI just wish the Mariners would get something done somewhere4 hours 50 min ago
Bat571Rosenthal says Cardinals, Pirates, Dodgers still in it, but per Peter Abraham of the Globe, Boston still hasn't received a proposal they like. Squeezing the lemons.5 hours 5 min ago
SABR MattCardinals and Dodgers also still in the mix...5 hours 9 min ago
SABR MattBOOOOOOOOO5 hours 11 min ago
Bat571Gordon Edes reminded his followers that the last time Boston traded a star for prospects at the deadline was Heathcliff Slocumb for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. Ouch, that hurt !5 hours 22 min ago
SABR MattLast teams standing for Lester - Pirates and Mariners. Could be a long evening.5 hours 37 min ago
Bat57193 pitches.5 hours 48 min ago
Bat571Walker now out, but 5 IP, 96 pitches looks like normal end of turn.5 hours 49 min ago
Bat571Walker still pitching for Tacoma, if that means anything. Has 7 K's, but has given up 3 HRs5 hours 58 min ago
SpectatorSeveral teams reportedly "not it" -- M's still on the narrowing list of possibilities. Someone will probably tweet something soon.6 hours 21 min ago
SpectatorSomething going down with Lester, but don't know yet who the other team is.6 hours 25 min ago
SABR MattRusney Castillo hits the ball as hard as Cespedes but his bat trajectory means he won't hit Cespedes' fly balls...doubles power with some liner dingers. I'll still take that at 4X126 hours 33 min ago