Carter Capps on a Gray January Day

... when do pitchers report, again?!


=== 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 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.


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. 


=== 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.



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Bat571The Tigers have to be trying now to figure out how to get maximum value out of Cabrera's contract going forward -- and DH is the logical way to reduce stress on his feet/legs. Is VMart suddenly a luxury for them in spite of Illitch's desire to get a WS title - Is the money better spent keeping Scherzer?1 hour 26 min ago
Bat571Given the Tigers' issues at 1B, 3B, and in the bullpen, I wonder if it might be worth offering Smoak, Romero, and Medina for a few of their minor leaguers (James McCann?) just to clear some roster room and make their decisions on VMart a bit harder? We've discussed stop loss as being valuable - maybe it would be to them as well, if the Ms didn't ask for too much in return.1 hour 32 min ago
Bat571Miguel Cabrera had ankle surgery today and it was worse than expected - had to have screws inserted for a stress fracture and will have to be off his feet throughout the off-season. My idea of offering Smoak suddenly got more realistic! And VMart's bargaining position took a hit unless he wants to play a lot of 1B for the Tigers. This is getting interesting! Offering 3 years with a 4th year option and a buyout might still get it done and put the issue to bed. Maybe the price is now closer to $15M a year? And $50M guaranteed?2 hours 11 min ago
SABR Mattstill would rather have the devil I know than the one I don't for this club4 hours 16 min ago
SABR Mattthe first round pick is a very good point.4 hours 16 min ago
Tacoma RainPlus the Mariners keep their first round draft choice going with Tomas7 hours 58 min ago
Tacoma RainI would rather not go over 3 years with VMart... and I really do not want to go over $80M for Tomas either, but I think of the two choices I'd rather have Tomas. The Cubans have just been too good at the MLB lately not to take the gamble - especially if somehow he is under $13M per year.8 hours 1 min ago it is up.8 hours 17 min ago
moethedogMy VMart sign-on didn't come up. But I'll add this. 7/$118 seems very unlikely for Tomas, to me. he's not an Abreu or a Cespedes...based on Cuban numbers, but I like his short-quick stroke. Last year he carried a bunch of weight......looking almost Ruthian with those pin-like legs, but he moves and sprays the ball and has power. If he's a 5 yr./$50M guy, there's much to roll the dice on.8 hours 21 min ago
mojicianV-Mart!!!!! No sueldo Tomas mucho dinero por favor.8 hours 31 min ago
moethedogRemember that the VMart we might get isn't the '14 VMart, please. That year was his career outlier year, most likely. he was more than 20% better (OPS+) than any previous year (at age 35) and 60 OPS pts better than anything before (nearly 100 pts better than his previous #2 season). We're paying for a very good player, .300+-.370+-.460+ (before any decline), but we're not getting '14 VMart. He's not my #1 pick, but I would take him over Tomas, I believe. VMart is a waiting game, too. Make the move early.8 hours 36 min ago
SABR MattVMart. We're in win-now mode and Tomas is a bit of a gamble.9 hours 5 min ago
Tacoma RainGuys - who move would you rather see the Mariners do... VMart at 4 years / $68M or Yasmany Tomas at 7 years / $118M?9 hours 20 min ago
SABR MattIf we could somehow get Zobrist and Vic Martinez..I would start giggling the moment it was done and not stop giggling until we were having our WS parade in Seattle.10 hours 33 min ago
SABR MattI still want me some of that Zobrist. Even if he is in decline.10 hours 34 min ago
Tacoma RainThe best part about Zobrist is that he is a switch hitter, with very little splits... and it appears he is stalking pitches as well11 hours 44 min ago
mojicianThere are openings at the Twins and Rockies.13 hours 26 min ago
moethedogMLBTR says so.13 hours 34 min ago
SABR MattJoe Maddon quit the Rays????13 hours 43 min ago
moethedogJoe Maddon opts out in Tampa Bay. Zobrist has only '15 on his contract then is a FA. I would have no problem with sending Saunders for Zobrist, in a hurry...if we could get him to extend for a year (or not). Get him for both '15 and '16. Heck, I would move Ackley for him, too. But Saunders might be a nice thing to dangle in front of the Rays. They are in a weird spot now. Move quickly. Make an offer they can't refuse. At $7.5M Zobrist doesn't drive salary up much and he gives you a career vL line of .285-.363-.447 (better last year). I've not been a huge fan of getting Zobrist as THE guy, but this deal could be had, I think...if we're aggressive. TB loses him in a year anyway.13 hours 59 min ago