POTD Chris Capuano: Scouting Report

Q.  How does Capuano get outs?  When he has his A game and when he has his B game?

A.  He gets outs just like George Sherrill and Sid Fernandez get outs.

Upright, balanced backstroke ....... then WHOOOOoooom the center drops and drives .... he comes sidearm around the corner .... and the ball materializes in the batter's field of view when it's about 45 feet away.

It was workin' a hundred years ago, and a hundred years on, it'll still be workin'.  Capuano's deception is a perfect 80 on the scale.

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Q.  Is he regaining his velocity after two years of TJ?

A.  He never did have velocity, or he'd have been El Sid (10-11 whiffs per).  He does not need velo. 

87-88 mph for Capuano is 93 in dog years.  ... he's had the same lame-o-tronic 87 mph his whole career.  That's what's so great.  He's guaranteed to have 87 mph again next year.  You feel me?  Capuano's game is the most repeatable game in the bigs.

It's a game less prone to the "A game" and "B game" than most guys'.  The same was true of Jarrod Washburn.  Remember his summer's worth of 1- and 2-run starts?  87 mph up, down, in, out, go get the ball Guti, what's to frazz in and out?

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

Check the fangraphs historicals on his FB velo.  You could look it up.  Capuano hides the ball, hits super-aggressive spots in the zone, and pitches to miss bats.  He sticks pepper-encrusted forks into the tender spots of batters' strike zones.

You talk about Felix learning from Cliff Lee:  actually he could learn from this guy.  Capuano throws his FB just like Erik Bedard does:  up the ladder, in on the hands, a half-foot outside .... Capa uses deception, though, rather than quickness like Erikkkk.

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

Watch some tape and you'll see baseball's greatest hitters grope for Capuano's 88 fastballs like they were knuckleballs.    There are times they just can't see it.  Can't see it.

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Q.  What does SSI think of his offspeed game?

A.  To watch this guy from the CF camera, you'd swear he telegraphs the offspeed from the stretch.  Both his change and slider look terrible.  Shape and release.

It just doesn't happen on the field, though.  The Run Values are real solid on both the slider and change, year after year.  :shrug:  Sometimes my eyes deceive me - here's a case in point for sure.

Capa has plenty of success both with his slider and change, throws them both a lot.  His K's with the slow stuff is a combo of the deception, and the fact that the hitters are so hysterically trying to defend the heater, I guess.  Maybe his dangerous FB makes the other pitches a lot better than they are.

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

:okay: Sometimes on the change, it does roll off the table and he gets a Jamie Moyer deadfish sink to it.  When he does it's an absolutely unhittable pitch.

It makes you wonder, idly, whether Capuano would ever perfect the drop pitch.  If he ever did, he'd be illegal.  We don't expect him to do so, though.

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Q.  How are the mechanics?

A.  Sidearm good.  Everything else, bad.

His CG accelerates down the CL, but in a super-jerky way -- he sort of stops for no reason, and then HURLS his hips forward like a fat kid trying to do situps.

He slings the ball instead of leveraging it.  He muscles the ball.  The decel is graceless.  Taro won't like the high, inverted W. 

It's no blinkin' accident he tops out at 88, is "effectively wild," and is hurt all the time.  He's using strength to throw the ball, rather than leverage.  (If you think I'm whistling in the dark with that last line, cue up some Bedard footage and comp it to Capa.)

Just an opinion.  I know I'm not an expert.  But from an aiki standpoint it cul-de-sacs at about fourth kyu...

The good news is, he's tanned, rested, and ready to go.  He's had three years off.  2011 should be low miles on the retreads.

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