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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DaddyOTonight's game feels like a "must win" at this point. While technically not true, you hate to count on a multiple teams ahead of you losing more games than they win while you win more games than you lose. Felix has not been at the top of his game lately, and he needs to be for this one. Then again, Paxton was at the top of HIS game last night and it still didn't matter.50 min 4 sec ago
Tacoma Rainso the M's incredible bullpen has given up 5 of the 15 earned runs Paxton has given up this year... Maybe James needs to learn how to argue better with Lloyd11 hours 21 min ago
Gordon GrossWe've now lost 3 Paxton starts since he came back in August where he has given up zero or 1 runs through 6 innings. Add that to the abysmal Felix losses or NDs in his UQ starts... man, with a half decent O we'd have won a hundred games. Maybe next year. Cuz of course our pitching will stay this dominant...11 hours 38 min ago
Tacoma RainHarold and rest of MLB TV experts are questioning removing Paxton loudly - even saying that they could see the relief in the Angels dugout when Paxton was getting pulled12 hours 22 min ago
rick82To pick up on Gordon's comment, perhaps they should award the Cy Young to all starters who faced the M's these season. Hector Noesi can accept the award for the entire ensemble. That would be fitting.12 hours 32 min ago
rick82Maybe Elias spooked him. He didn't want to lose another young lefty. But one more batter was in order. James earned that. Oh well, you can't win if you can't score.12 hours 58 min ago
Tacoma RainI was very unhappy Rick with the decision.... and I am not getting any better with time13 hours 4 min ago
moethedogNice pitching change, Skip.13 hours 17 min ago
rick82Should have let him finish the inning. I know that's obvious now, but how many of you were thinking the same thing when Lloyd pulled him?13 hours 17 min ago
Gordon GrossObservations as of the 7th inning: 1) James Paxton remains as maliciously and casually devastating as I have always believed him to be. 2)The Ms offense as a whole has apparently faced it's 97th Cy Young candidate on the year. 3) Smoak's 647th career fat meatball that he turned into a can of corn with runners on made me say inappropriate (or perhaps very appropriate) things to the TV. 4) Denorfia is a bad human being, or at least a terrible fielder of baseballs in a playoff race that can't afford any more games to be given away with moronic gaffes.13 hours 24 min ago
DaddyOTough, TOUGH break for Paxton on the ball misplayed by Denorfia. He has looked as good as any pitcher I've ever seen. C.J. Wilson is throwing a gem himself.13 hours 25 min ago
MtGrizzlyWhen Paxton has his curve working for him, he's lethal.14 hours 16 min ago
OBFBlech I don't like the lineup today... Is Hart injured again or something? Is Romero is the dog house now or something? Of course as I am typing Smoak gets the first base hit... String em together boys!14 hours 28 min ago
OBFMan.... Paxton may be better than Unit, King, Moyer, EVERYONE when all is said and done... 98 MPH UP in the zone from a lefty, 93 mph cutter boring in on the righties, a knuckle curve for gimmie strikes and a changeup that after some refinement will rival The Royal Change... You Go Paxton! Now lets score him a couple runs!!!14 hours 33 min ago
Gordon GrossNice writeup on Cano and the Ms by national writer and local homer Caple: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11539289/mlb-robinson-cano-impact-seattle-mariners-improvement20 hours 7 min ago
SABR MattI think we just need to take some mood stabilizing drugs (myself included) and enjoy the ride...LOL1 day 43 min ago
DaddyOIf we do this, I can pretty much guarantee we will not only make the playoffs, we will win the whole enchilada!1 day 1 hour ago
DaddyOOkay, had to take my wife to work and get some blood drawn, but while out I figured out what's required of Mariners fans down the stretch. Like I said below, the M's seem to revive whenever they sink so low that we write them off. So I suggest we become Bizarro World fans. Just like in the Bizarro World series of Seinfeld episodes, where Elaine runs into three characters that look like Jerry, George, and Kramer but behave the exact opposite, so M's fans must become dejected and bitter whenever we win, and elated whenever we lose. This all makes perfect sense, since the M's as a franchise have always been the Bizarro franchise, the one that seeks to make money while consistently trotting out sorry teams over the years, the one that even managed to screw up seasons when they had four HOF'ers on the field at the same time. So Bizarro World it is, mates!1 day 1 hour ago
SABR Matt(Referring specifically to the 2014 incarnation)1 day 2 hours ago
SABR MattI'm gonna call this team the "Mood Swing Mariners" for the rest of my life.1 day 2 hours ago