Mets third baseman David Wright injured his hamstring on a stolen base attempt in the ninth inning of tonight’s contest against the Phillies and appears DL-bound. The team has announced that Eric Campbell is on his way to New York in case a roster move needs to be made, and both ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin (link) and Newsday’s Marc Carig (link) have indicated that a trip to the DL seems inevitable. Wright will have an MRI tomorrow morning before a decision is made, but he sounds likely to join a growing list of injured Mets. Michael Cuddyer, who left tonight’s game after being hit on the hand by a pitch, sounds like he may return to the lineup as soon as tomorrow, via Rubin (on Twitter).
More NL East news as today’s games come to a close…
- Denard Span is on the comeback trail to the Nationals, as the team announced today that he began a rehab assignment at Double-A Harrisburg tonight. Span was expected to be sidelined until mid-May following core muscle surgery, but he’s ahead of schedule in his rehab. Teammate Nate McLouth also received some positive news, as an MRI showed no structural damage in his surgically repaired shoulder, tweets CSN’s Mark Zuckerman. McLouth has been cleared to resume a throwing program.
- The reworked delivery of Marlins right-hander Carter Capps has caused some controversy, as the home plate umpire in his first appearance at Triple-A this year deemed it illegal and negated his first two pitches, stating that Carter broke contact with the pitching rubber too soon. As the Miami Sun Sentinel’s Juan C. Rodriguez writes, the issue has been resolved, as the Marlins have contacted Major League Baseball to receive clarification, and Capps will be allowed to continue on with his delivery. The 24-year-old was recalled by the Marlins yesterday and made his 2015 debut with the team last night. (Those interested in seeing Capps’ delivery can check out this video from last night’s game coverage, in which the Braves commentators liken the delivery to that of former Atlanta righty Jordan Walden.)
- Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron also examined Capps’ delivery and likened it to that of Walden, though he rightly notes that Capps’ hop-step brings him even closer to the mound than Walden does. Cameron points out that it doesn’t seem that there’s anything in the rulebook’s definition of “legal pitches” that would prevent Capps from doing this. Capps has long struggled against lefties, Cameron notes, and he wonders if the change in delivery will help with that problem, as his 97 mph average velocity, released closer to the plate, will certainly make it more difficult to pick up. Cameron speculates that if Capps can have success against lefties with this type of delivery, it may not be long before some fringy relief prospects begin emulating Capps and Walden, making the delivery more common.
Hits to the Mets keep on coming, but they keep on winning. They just have to keep momentum through this weak part of their schedule (beating the phillies, taking advantage of a flailing marlins and Yankees, and hope the Braves cool down by the time they face each other next). Parnell, Black, and Wright should all be back within 2 weeks, they just have to keep on keeping on until then.
what capps is doing is illegal. he is basically doing a crow hop. if you allow that garbage, when the next genius comes along and hops as far down the mound on one foot, where is the line drawn?
Agreed, he’s nowhere close to the rubber when that ball leaves his hand, my question is is he allowed to keep pitching like that with a guy on base? Wouldn’t that be a balk?
Yep. Jordan Walden used to do the same thing (not sure if he still does) and I remember hearing Gary Cohen and Ron Darling on a Mets/Angels broadcast marveling at how that motion was allowed.
Edit: whoops, haha, didn’t read the whole post above. nevermind!
Didja read the linked piece?
So, what I have always understood is that the pitchers foot must be in contact with the rubber when the pitch is delivered has never been a rule and isn’t going to be enforced? The video very clearly shows that his foot is well off the rubber. What prevents a pitcher then from moving to one side of the mound to get a better angle to throw a breaking ball?
I will admit that I hadn’t heard of what Capps was doing until reading this post. That being said, I have watched the analysis of his delivery, and I hope the MLB clarifies that this is illegal.
Pretty soon we’re gonna have people jumping up like tennis serves…
Hope it doesn’t get to the NBA point where traveling is essentially non-existent… How many steps towards home will they eventually allow a pitcher to take before the delivery is deemed illegal?
The legality of the motion of aside, how can an organization in good conscience encourage that a pitcher adopt this kind of delivery? Not only is it highly unrepeatable (which inevitably leads to command issues), but you can’t argue that the added motion also increases injury risks as well. I have to imagine there’s at least one pitching coach/instructor on the Marlins that is not OK with this.
I’m not 100% sure of the rule book, but I believe that he is allowed to do it as he starts on the rubber just like any other pitcher, and the motion happens during his stride phase (unlike in fast pitch softball). It certainly is odd, and I can understand why a MiLB umpire may determine the motion illegal. Having said that, it’ll be interesting to see how that delivery works out for him. IMO, it is gonna be difficult to repeat on a consistent basis, and his control will suffer as a result. If this ends up becoming the norm though for AAAA relievers trying to make the MLB, perhaps the rule should be changed a little as I can see why it could cause frustration/confusion.
Not to nitpick, but Walden is now on the Cards.
Oops never mind, I mustve missed the word ‘former’.
Nice to see MLB contradicting the rulebook.
If I were the Mets, I would be hoping dearly that the injury is nothing more than a Grade 1 Hamstring pull, because regardless of how things have gone thus far, they’re going to need a productive Wright for most of the year in order to make it through a successful season the same way the Yankees need a healthy Tex manning first.
last year when he went on the DL in september we were over .500 that month. i think we even won close to 2/3 of the games that month
But how sustainable would that success be for a prolonged period of time? Right now, it’s the offense that most outsiders like myself find to be a big question, even with Wright in place. That’s one month we’re talking, not a full season. They have the pieces in place that can at least assist in filling the void temporarily, but I don’t know that there’s enough to hold up for too long of a period.
a lot of players start the season slow offensively. happens every season
Sure they do, that’s a fair point, but it’s not exactly relevant to the point I’m making. I and and a plethora of other people don’t see that offense as a strength, even with Wright being in the lineup. There’s no getting around the fact that they need him this year, and they need him to be productive.
Read rule 8.02 under Set Position. A pitcher must deliver the ball without “alteration or interruption”. He and Walden are obviously altering their pivot foots, by jumping in the air and replanting it. The whole point of this rule is to outlaw the jump step like was often used in fastpitch softball. Joe Torre and Randy Marsh need to start doing their jobs, and outlaw this clear violation of the rule book.
I imagine as soon as Sandy Alderson (GM of Mets, and more importantly a chair on the rules committee) sees this in person, he will complain to the top and it will be seriously looked at. Mets play the Marlins this weekend. Sandy has already greatly influenced rules decisions as GM of the Mets on more than one occasion.
It wouldn’t be the first time he sees it though I’d like to believe that the MLB including GMs, umpires, and owners know the rule better us fans. If it was truly illegal it would’ve been addressed as soon as he let go of his first pitch.
Things like this pass through not because it’s legal, but because people deem it isn’t worthy of rocking the boat. If one pitcher is breaking the rule, whatever. If two, eh. If three, eh. If twenty start doing it tomorrow? At what point do you rock that boat? There is a curve of “this takes too much energy to fix” vs “this is doing lots of damage” and you’re not going to see a rule change until you make it to an unstable area of the curve.
The League has already addressed it however and said it was legal under certain parameters. And the idea that they won’t change the rule because one or two players get away with it is ridiculous, if it was truly an issue and players and managers around the league were complaining it would take less than a day for MLB to write up a rule. Walden and Capps have already pitched for a while and not one complaint has been raised by anyone involved in the league as far as we know but I guess fans sitting at home know more about the rule book.
It simply doesn’t work like that. There is always resistance to rule changes or changes in rule interpretation. It’s only when the pressure to change exceeds the momentum of status quo do you see change. Alderson has influenced multiple rules changes in the past few seasons as Mets GM. Wait until this becomes a problem for the Mets, he’ll take it to the committee and they’ll talk about it. Changes don’t happen over night. I bet, even if everyone agreed, the rule wouldn’t change until December anyhow.
Well, it was: The umpire in his game ruled his first two pitches illegal. MLB has clarified that they do not consider it illegal. I guess that’s the “law” for now, but it sure doesn’t seem legal to me.
It was in a minor league game and MLB spoke with the Marlins to clear up any confusion about what is and isn’t legal. The only way I see them changing the rule would be if players, managers, and owners took issue with it which as far as we know hasn’t been the case since Walden and Capps have pitched for a while now
Can you give an example of rule influence?
The rule where compensation pick removed draft protection from other teams.
Can you explain that a bit further?
When Mets lost their draft protection because another team didn’t sign their draftee the prior year, Alderson complained and the rule was changed. Now if you are a bottom ten team your draft is protected even if another team has a compensation pick.
Alderson was also one of the main players in the home plate collision rule.
Sandy Alderson is chairmen of the rules committee.
That makes plenty of sense.
From what I’ve heard and read both of their pitching motions would be considered legal as long as their foot remains in contact with the dirt
While Capps’ delivery might help certain, as you say, fringy guys, I don’t see it being a game-changing weapon for the following reasons:
1. Obviously this isn’t a repeatable delivery. There are too many moving pieces for them all to be at the same place in every delivery. Command issues limit the effectiveness of this.
2. The decreased distance to the plate is offset, at least somewhat, by the decreased elevation to the field from the lower landing point. The ball’s flight is less on a downward plane and the flatter a pitch comes in the easier it is to barrel-up.
3. Combine the inconsistent potion with the “uphill” (yes, I know) delivery and you’ve got the recipe for injuries.
I just don’t see anybody other than second-chancers or guys who aren’t going to otherwise make the show risking such a change.