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 Post subject: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:52 am 
There is a lot of Capps bashing going on right now, but I think much of the bashing is unfair.

Capps is a very good pitcher going through a rough spell. He's also pitching in "above his spot" so to speak. On a playoff team, I think Capps is an 8th inning guy. The fact he's handled the closing duties so well is - (wait for it) - a tip of the Cap to the guy.


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:01 am 
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5 blown saves out of 7 attempts dating back to June 10th qualifies as more than a rough spell. I'm more concerned about the 5-6 mph drop on his fastball. Currently his fastball looks like his change. If he can't get that velocity back soon, he better start throwing that slider more often and become more Mike Williams like. Did I just say that?!?!?!


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:05 am 
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I said earlier in the season, I believe before the board got hacked so I'm not going to look for it, but he looks like he put a few pounds on, and I'm not talking muscle...and I thought that was a reason for the slowness on the Fastball...Gorzo is throwing around the same velocity!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:15 am 
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nad69dan wrote:
I said earlier in the season, I believe before the board got hacked so I'm not going to look for it, but he looks like he put a few pounds on, and I'm not talking muscle...and I thought that was a reason for the slowness on the Fastball...Gorzo is throwing around the same velocity!!!


I can back you up dan. I agreed with you, and in fact, even earlier than that, when they were discussing a contract extension, I remember posting that I thought it was a bad idea. My reasoning was that reliever performance is variable from year to year, and that with a reliever who primarily relies on fastballs with no movement and is consistently over the plate, you are going to be prone to getting whacked. And even before blowing these saves, how many outs were warning track fly balls?


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:25 am 
BBF wrote:
nad69dan wrote:
I said earlier in the season, I believe before the board got hacked so I'm not going to look for it, but he looks like he put a few pounds on, and I'm not talking muscle...and I thought that was a reason for the slowness on the Fastball...Gorzo is throwing around the same velocity!!!


I can back you up dan. I agreed with you, and in fact, even earlier than that, when they were discussing a contract extension, I remember posting that I thought it was a bad idea. My reasoning was that reliever performance is variable from year to year, and that with a reliever who primarily relies on fastballs with no movement and is consistently over the plate, you are going to be prone to getting whacked. And even before blowing these saves, how many outs were warning track fly balls?


Mike Williams is another guy who was not a closer but was asked to be a closer by the Pirates. I think Capps is similar ... a guy who throws strikes to get you through the 8th to get to your closer. You are right about his velocity, too.

It reminds me of something someone has said about LaRoche (I believe it was you BBF). While yes he struggles, part of the problem is that he is expected to be this 30+ slugger first baseman cleanup hitter kind of guy. But maybe he's not that kind of player. Is that his fault?

Same goes for Capps.


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:35 am 
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Closing is a funny business. I didn't notice a huge drop in his velocity. I think he's usually around 92-93mph. Maybe it's a command thing, maybe he's not pitching inside enough, maybe it's that nebulous concept called "pitching with conviction," maybe he's just in a dead arm "funk." I have noticed, like many on this board, thathis fastball is very straight, although he usually has a decent downward plane on it. I feel that he just needs some kind of filthy pitch to keep people off of it. Maybe a splitter, slider, or change. His slider is not top notch.


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:50 am 
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doug frobel wrote:
I didn't notice a huge drop in his velocity. I think he's usually around 92-93mph.


Last year he was hitting 94-95 with his fastball pretty frequently. He's been about 89-92 lately. Considering his change is about 85 mph, it's a significant drop in velocity.

doug frobel wrote:
His slider is not top notch.


You'd never know by watching him pitch though as he seems to not throw it that often. Last night he threw 14 pitches, all fastballs with the exception of one slider. Not a changeup in the bunch! The hitters are just sitting fastball. You're right though, he needs more than one pitch or else it's going to be more of the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:33 pm 
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I don't know about this drop in velocity. I don't remember him being a 94-95 guy.

I do think he throws too many fastballs, but more importantly, he throws too many fastballs in the middle of the strike zone, especially early in the count.

He has the control to mix up his locations and work the edges of the strike zone, and that's where I think he should focus.

At least he can throw strikes, which is something that can't be said about the majority of our pitchers.


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:14 pm 
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It's scary. Don't know the reasons , but closer is one of the few positions that I thought was solid for the future.

Now it becomes questionable again. Blowing 5 of his last 7 is not an off night or a bad week. To be the guy he needs to be able to correct to weakness, or eventually lose his position.

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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:27 pm 
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When Capps is most effective, he gets some movement on his fastball. Right now, his fastball has not only lost velocity but it is flat. Even marginal MLB hitters can destroy flat fastballs - particularly when there is nothing in the pitcher's repetoire which can throw them off balance.

Capps and Doumit/Chavez have to realize this. Capps needs to better work the ball in and out of the zone. He needs to come up and in. Just my opinion, but he is way too predictable at this point. The batters are looking for a particular pitch in a particular location and destroying it.

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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:31 pm 
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I'd even be in favor of letting have a few days off as the closer and bring him in the 6th or 7th inning...Lets see what Grabow or Marte could do for a week as the closer...maybe it helps add trade value if another teams closer were to go down...

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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:39 pm 
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Marte hasn't been much better lately. He almost blew the game Monday and blew it yesterday.

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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:58 pm 
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Baseball continues to amaze me.

Pre-season our biggest concern was relief pitching except for closer.

turns out SP is biggest problem, offense is great and relief pitching outstanding. Capps closes the first 15 with a spotless record.

Now

SP is improving offense is over-achieving but relief pitching and closer are both problems.

Feels like a man with his finger in a dike (no pun intended) who plugs up one hole only to discover another that causes him to move to correct that problem, only to rediscover that the original problem has returned and added another associated problem with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:59 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
I said earlier in the season, I believe before the board got hacked so I'm not going to look for it, but he looks like he put a few pounds on, and I'm not talking muscle...and I thought that was a reason for the slowness on the Fastball...Gorzo is throwing around the same velocity!!!


Seems to me that packing 255 or so pounds on a 6 ft. 2 in. frame makes Matty a pretty big fella, more along the lines of a muscle-bound middle linebacker than a power pitcher with the suppleness and leverage to run a fastball up to 94 or 95 m.p.h.

But then Bartolo Colon was throwing pretty hard at 5-11, 250, so what do I know? I never pitched after Little League.

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I'd even be in favor of letting have a few days off as the closer and bring him in the 6th or 7th inning.


Capps did, in fact, just have a few days off, according to the records. He appeared in the June 21 game and then not again until the 27th.

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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:20 pm 
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BBF wrote:
nad69dan wrote:
I said earlier in the season, I believe before the board got hacked so I'm not going to look for it, but he looks like he put a few pounds on, and I'm not talking muscle...and I thought that was a reason for the slowness on the Fastball...Gorzo is throwing around the same velocity!!!


I can back you up dan. I agreed with you, and in fact, even earlier than that, when they were discussing a contract extension, I remember posting that I thought it was a bad idea. My reasoning was that reliever performance is variable from year to year, and that with a reliever who primarily relies on fastballs with no movement and is consistently over the plate, you are going to be prone to getting whacked. And even before blowing these saves, how many outs were warning track fly balls?


Agreed. I've been saying the same thing, especially over the last month. Even when he gets outs a lot of times they are lasers hit at someone. He does not currently have "closer stuff". His fastball has always looked dead straight to me and other teams are now adjusting to the fact that they know he will throw them a flat fastball over the heart of the plate early. His other pitches must not be very good because he almost never throws them. If you are going to stand out there and challenge hitters with 90% fastballs they better be coming with some movement and at a better pace than 89-90 mph...

I do think he has the perfect mentality for the job of closer but he has to change his approach, improve his fastball, and as you guys have pointed out maybe get into better shape.


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:58 pm 
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I agree he's got the mentality, he should have laid off the Twinkees in the offseason

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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:57 am 
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Astute call, you guys. Shoulder bursitis. Undoubtedly the cause of the loss of velocity and life on the fastball. Out for 8 weeks...Ouch!


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:09 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
When Capps is most effective, he gets some movement on his fastball. Right now, his fastball has not only lost velocity but it is flat.


Capps throws 4-seam the vast majority of the time. That pitch has a bit of movement, but not much. It is not designed to move, since it is thrown primarily at the outside corner. You don't want the 4-seam tailing back over the middle of the plate, and you don't want to throw a quasi-cutter that drifts out of the strike zone.

Capps problems were related a bit to velocity (drop of 2-3 mph), and mainly to loss of control. He was throwing fastballs over the heart of the plate and missing his target by quite a lot.

A couple of times, I saw Doumit set up knee-high, outside corner to batters, and then have Capps throw the pitch up and in. Capps is not a guy who misses his target by 2 feet, but that is what he was doing. His lack of control was further evidenced by his tendency to leave pitches over the middle of the plate, belt high.


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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:39 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:27 pm 
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Maybe he wasn't pitching good because his shoulder was bothering him. Just a theory.


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