Capps with the Seattle Mariners
|Born: August 7, 1990|
Kinston, North Carolina
|August 3, 2012, for the Seattle Mariners|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2017 season)
|Earned run average||4.21|
Carter Lewis Capps (born August 7, 1990) is an American professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Padres, Seattle Mariners, and Miami Marlins.
Early life and career
Capps was a backup catcher at North Lenoir High School. He was converted to a pitcher in his freshman year at Mount Olive College. He posted a 24–1 win–loss record after two years (including an NCAA Division II-record of 24 straight wins) and pitched in the Cape Cod League as a relief pitcher for the Harwich Mariners.
After a poor 2011 debut with the Clinton LumberKings of the Class A Midwest League, in which he had a 1–1 record and a 6.00 earned run average (ERA) in 18 innings, Capps improved dramatically with his performance as the closer for the Jackson Generals of the Class AA Southern League in 2012. Before being promoted to the Tacoma Rainiers of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League Capps struck out 72 hitters in 50 innings and posted 19 saves, along with a 1.26 ERA. He pitched only 1 1⁄3 innings in AAA. For his performance with the Generals, Capps was named the best relief pitcher in the Southern League in 2012.
Capps was recalled by the Mariners on August 6, 2013.
On December 13, 2013, the Mariners traded Capps to the Miami Marlins for Logan Morrison. In 2015, Capps pitched to a 1.16 ERA. On March 8, 2016 in Gulf Breeze, Florida, Dr. James Andrews performed Tommy John surgery on Capps, ruling him out for the 2016 season. Capps had entered spring training expecting to compete with A. J. Ramos for the role of Marlins closer.
San Diego Padres
Capps began the 2017 season on the disabled list, to continue rehabbing from his previous Tommy John surgery. He was outrighted to Triple-A on March 26, 2018. Capps declared free agency on October 9, 2018.
Although his four-seam fastball was in the low 90s as a starter in college, it averages 99 mph out of the bullpen now, as-well at times 100-101 MPH. He pairs the hard fastball with a sweeping curveball at 81–85 mph and an occasional changeup against left-handed hitters.
With his tall frame, Capps releases the ball at a low three-quarters arm angle far to the side of the pitching rubber, making it difficult for right-handed hitters to pick up the ball out of his hand.
He is notable for having a unique leaping hitch in his delivery, which has been described as a "slide skip", a "hop-step", and a "crow-hop". The delivery shortens the distance between him and the batter before he releases the ball. The delivery was reviewed by MLB and deemed legal, despite a rule change concerning pitching before the 2017 season.
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- Fernandez, Andre C. (March 8, 2016). "Marlins' Carter Capps undergoes Tommy John surgery". Miami Herald. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "Padres acquire four players from Miami Marlins in seven-player trade". MLB.com (Press release). July 29, 2016. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
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- Sickels, John (August 8, 2012). "Prospect Notes: Carter Capps and Stephen Pryor, Seattle Mariners - Minor League Ball". Minor League Ball. SBNation.com. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Carter Capps". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Sullivan, Jeff (August 9, 2012). "Carter Capps, Visualized". Lookout Landing. SBNation.com. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Traina, Jimmy (April 17, 2015). "MLB re-examines weirdest pitching delivery in game". Fox Sports. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Castrovince, Anthony (August 20, 2015). "Best Under-the-Radar Seasons". Sports on Earth. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- McKenna, Henry (July 8, 2015). "Watch Xander Bogaerts's game-winning hit against MLB's strangest pitcher". Boston.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- McKenna, Henry (July 9, 2015). "Is Carter Capps's bizarre throwing motion illegal?". Boston.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Schoenfield, David (April 14, 2015). "Carter Capps' delivery is strange and apparently legal". ESPN. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Lin, Dennis (March 2, 2017). "Carter Capps' delivery still expected to be legal after MLB rule addition". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved March 29, 2017.