Sunday, March 23, 2008

Un-Capped

Chris Capuano's season and possibly his career with the Milwaukee Brewers is over. He will likely have Tommy John surgery - his second - with the hope of returning to the mound sometime in 2009. Cappy will be in his final arbitration year then. Depending on Ben Sheet's status (free agent at the end of '08) and the progress of Gallardo, Villanueva, Parra, and prospect Jeremy Jeffress, there may be no point in the Brewers giving Capuano another shot.

I found an article from USA Today about players who have had a second Tommy John surgery. It doesn't paint a very pretty picture. It talks about an 18 month recovery period and slim prospects of future success. This from the guy who invented the procedure in the first place, Dr. Frank Jobe.

In hind sight, you might have seen this coming. Following up his 18 win season in 2005, Capuano pitched great for the first half of 2006 (10-4, 3.21), making the All-Star team. He faded badly in the second half posting an ERA of 5.17. Last year he was great in April (4-0, 3.21) but miserable from there on. This year, he didn't make it out of spring training. You have to wonder if the tendon in his elbow has been wearing down over the past three seasons and finally just gave way.

While it was possible that Capuano wouldn't have made the team, let alone the starting rotation this spring, it is never good to lose a player to injury like this. There was a small chance that he could have had a bounce back season; now there is none. There was a chance that he could have been traded for a couple of prospects. Maybe one of those prospects would have helped you win a game in September in the middle of a pennant race. We'll never know. Those are the types of things that championship teams have happen. Unfortunately for the Brewers those things are going to have to come from somewhere else.

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