High-powered Marlins reliever Carter Capps will undergo Tommy John surgery today, the club has announced. The 25-year-old right-hander will have his UCL replaced by surgeon James Andrews.
Both team and player had been holding out hope for a better outcome from yesterday’s visit with Andrews. It would appear that the famed elbow repairman advised in favor of the procedure, which will knock Capps out for the entirety of the 2016 season and — depending upon his recovery timeline — a piece of 2017 as well.
The news is enormously disappointing for all involved. It’s hard to overstate just how good Capps was last year — when he was healthy — and Miami surely had visions of him forming a high-quality 1-2 punch with A.J. Ramos. Indeed, there was some talk of sliding Capps into the closer role, in part to help manage his usage but also in reflection of the fact that he led all of baseball with a 0.87 SIERA on the strength of an absurd strikeout-to-walk ratio (16.8 K/9 vs. 2.0 BB/9).
It’s perhaps even more disappointing for Capps himself, who had only just reached arbitration eligibility. Despite his dominance last year, his relatively low innings count in 2015 and underwhelming prior results held him to a $988K salary. Another big season — especially if utilized in the 9th — would have set Capps up for a major raise.
Instead, he’ll enter next winter with expectations of receiving a repeat of his current-year earnings. The Marlins will surely feel that price is worth the risk, and will also control Capps for a final arb-eligible season in 2018 before he qualifies for the open market.
It remains to be seen what Miami will do to address this loss. Surely, a replacement that would match Capps in quality won’t be available (at least, for anything less than an exorbitant rate). The club still has plenty of big fastballs in the pen, but will likely be looking to add depth. Whether or not an immediate move is explored, there ought to be plenty of options as camp battles are won and lost late in the spring.
It’s worth noting that Capps landed as the tenth most likely Tommy John patient in all of baseball in the recent statistical study undertaken by MLBTR contributor Bradley Woodrum. As Woodrum has explained in that post and in his appearance on last week’s MLBTR Podcast, the bottom-line predictive value of his work is relatively low (although still surprisingly powerful), so the placement of Capps and other higher-risk arms shouldn’t be viewed as an expectation of surgery so much as an indication that such pitchers may be worthy of increased attention and caution by their respective teams.
There is no such thing as a sprained UCL, it is a tear. They do not heal, the inflamation goes down and they try various other treatments to heal the tear, but it is in no way, shape, or form a tear and that term should be removed.
Whenever you see it? Figure a waste of a year, maybe 6 months on the DL before the player ends up with TJ anyway 50%+ of the time. I despise it when teams play around trying to avoid the surgery wil guys and “sprains” and minor tears. Brandon Workman is another, who Boston has been horsing around with since actually early 2014 and his FB gone since the S of 2013 with the tear. It’s nonsense.
Just Another Fan
I agree with all of this, and think Tanaka’s arm will definitely explode at some point this year too.
Surgeons only recommend TJS when necessary. There is also no guarantee a pitcher returns to his old form once he gets it also. That’s why many pitchers have had multiple TJS.
People act as if TJS is a magic cure. That is the farthest thing from the truth
Look at Adam Wainwright who had a partially torn URL in high school that cured, followed by another when he was in the minors. He did not get TJS until 2011 at the age of 30
Read this hear about what he says about Tanaka – http://www.newsday.com/sports/columnists/david-lennon/masahiro-tanaka-can-avoid-surgery-and-still-be-dominant-says-adam-wainwright-1.10148489
Not returning to form is not why pitchers have multiple tjs. The replacement ligament has a finite lifespan.
I worded it poorly. When I meant return to form, I meant return to being effective. You’re right about the ligament
My main point was surgeons have said TJS should be only done when necessary.
Autocorrect put URL above in my other post. I meant UCL
Players have no patience nowadays. Sprains don’t heal in a week-month like most players wait unless it’s pain from throwing for the first time after a couple months off. I was out for a little over half a year with an ucl sprain and not a complete tear. I couldn’t even throw a baseball the first couple of weeks. That was 5 years ago. I’m still throwing to this day and have had little to no issues with my elbow. The Wainwright story that MB923 is a great example.
“the bottom-line predictive value of his work is relatively low”
Relative to what?
Not sure what angle you are taking with this question — genuine curiosity, linguistic clarity, or statistical imprecision — but I meant only to continue to emphasize that Brad doesn’t claim he’s found guys who are, say, more likely than not to require TJ.
Regardless, I guess, I’d say that the predictive value is low relative to the world of factors/luck/decisionmaking that might account for a given UCL injury ultimately requiring TJ surgery. As you can further explore in the linked post and podcast, Brad says: “this model can only explain — at most — 22% of the variation we find in the TJS population.”
Just Another Fan
Karma for that ludicrous cheating pitching action. Big surprise both Walden and Capps have been riddled with injuries – the human arm is not supposed to be used like this! STOP DOING THIS! Pitch naturally this won’t happen.
Pitching is an unnatural motion, anyway. Jordan Walden has made millions of dollars pitching like that, I really doubt he has any regrets because of a couple injuries.
Just Another Fan
1. He doesn’t need you stick up for him.
2. He’s a cheater, Capps is too. I hope they both keep getting hurt as a warning to not hop, skip and jump towards to hitter and throw off the rubber like a real man.
” and throw off the rubber like a real man.”
Last time I did that she got pregnant!
Watch any pitcher, none of them are touching the rubber. These guys are just more pronounced.
As it is allowed, it is not cheating.
And how does jumping effect his arm? You’re honestly such a troll, you just haven’t reached restinpeacebraves level yet
JF. Is rest in peace braves level higher or lower than cgh18 and trademiester?
Idk who cgh18 is, but at least trademeister just made far fetched trades. Restinpeacebraves is a complete racist. This guys something though, i think he’s not being serious in almost all his posts and is just trolling, but then he always defends them and backs them up like he actually believes what he’s saying
It’s not against the rules so your point is irrelevant
I guess this gives the MLB another 12 or so months to figure out what rule changes need to be made.
And yes, IMO something needs to be done about the massive jump off the rubber he employs.
So glad you linked to the great article by Bradley Woodrum — somehow I missed it. Very interesting!