Padres righty Carter Capps will undergo surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports on Twitter. He had been dealing with a blood clot, leading to the diagnosis and course of treatment.
Obviously that’s not the best news for a hurler that only recently made it back from Tommy John surgery. It’s considered possible, though, that he’ll be able to return in time to participate fully in Spring Training.
Even if Capps is ready to join in when camp opens, it remains to be seen whether he’ll do so with the Padres. If he’s tendered a contract, the 27-year-old is not going to earn much more than the $987,500 he did this year, but it’s also possible that San Diego will simply decide it does not want to dedicate a 40-man spot to Capps.
After all, the once-dominant reliever did not quite look himself upon his return this year. In 12 1/3 innings, he allowed nine earned runs with seven strikeouts and two walks. His once-blistering fastball sat at just over 93 mph. And his swinging-strike rate — which topped out at a monstrous 25.4% in his unreal 2015 season — fell all the way to a marginal 7.8%.
It’s a short sample, to be sure, but Capps clearly has a ways to go to recapture any of the immense ability he showed in that magical 2015 campaign, when he struck out 58 batters and allowed just four earned runs in 31 frames. Given his young age, though, Capps will have plenty of opportunities to make it back even if the Padres decide against it.