Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Usage of Chris Capuano

Fans who tuned in long enough to yesterday's frustrating 9-5 loss at the hands of the Houston Astros saw an uncommon thing of late: Chris Capuano.

Capuano pitched a scoreless ninth inning, only allowing one base runner (single). It was his first appearance in 16 days, when he pitched one inning against the Texas Rangers.

So what exactly are the Brewers doing with Capuano?

I thought it was a bit ridiculous giving him one start before relegating him to the bullpen. In that start, he gave up three runs in 3.2 innings. To be fair, there were some rather questionable plays behind Cappy, including a botched double play ball Rickie Weeks. He walked just one batter and struck out four. All in all, a pretty encouraging start from Cappy after making a pretty incredible comeback.

After immediately being sent back to the bullpen, he pitched nine days later on June 12th. His next appearance came last night.

This completely ridiculous use of Capuano has made me worried. Doug Davis is going to be brought back to the majors when he is healthy. Considering just about every other pitcher has been used much more frequently than Capuano, he might be the one sent down. If I'm not mistaken, Capuano has less than five years of service time in the majors and, barring a clause in his contract, would have options remaining.

I just can't understand how the Brewers are not able to find a use for Cappy. Zach Braddock has been very good out of the 'pen thus far and looks very good against left handers, but Capuano could also help in that role.

In the minors this season, Capuano retired 24 of the 29 lefties he faced. He didn't walk any of those lefties and fanned seven. That coincides with his career trends that has seen lefties bat just .235 against him and posted an OPS under .700. Long story short, Cappy can get lefties out.

I understand it is kind of tough to get Capuano a start at the moment. When Davis returns, the Brewers will have seven viable options to start games. Maybe a trade is something worth exploring. If Davis is able to piece a couple of decent starts together, he might garner some interest in the trade market. Starters can be very sought after this time of year and Davis might fetch a prospect. Even better, he could clear another spot for either Capuano or Manny Parra to take.

Even if Capuano isn't starting games, he still needs to see more action than what he has thus far. He could bring some things to the table that could prove beneficial. Although he has been good, Zach Braddock doesn't need to pitch every night. There's no sense in wearing his arm down the same way Mitch Stetter was abused last year.


Nick said...

Word up. Braddock and Capuano could be used in a split role. IMO, I think that this is one of those situations where Macha wants to stick with "his guy" and in this case it Braddock. A trade needs to be made though, did you see the rumor with Lawrie going to Toronto for Marcum??? I could deal with that..... You definitely should blog something pre-deadline with some potential moves.

Jonathan Ede said...

Based on my calculations, Marcum should hit free agency after the 2012 season, meaning he would have just over two years left in a Brewers uniform. I don't know how willing I would be to part with Lawrie for two expensive seasons of Marcum. Cecil, however is still under one season of service time and would be very cheap for very long. If the Brewers could lock up Weeks, Cecil wouldn't be a bad return for Cecil. I wouldn't rush anything until there is actually spots available for pitchers to start in. I'm not ready to give up on Capuano as a starter. Going forward, the rotation for the next three years is likely to include Gallardo, Wolf, Parra, Narveson and then there's that void. Trading for a young starter is an option that needs to be explored. If the return is enough, I would have no problem in parting with Lawrie.