Monday, November 23, 2009


Chris Capuano, who is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, was signed to a minor league deal by the Brewers today in what was a nice but probably meaningless move.

Wikipedia lists 132 Major League pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery.  Do you know which one of them has the most career wins?  You ready?  Here it comes - it's Tommy John.  Don't you find that just a little bit odd?  You'd think that one of the 131 pitchers after him would have topped his total.  John had 288 career wins - 26th all time.  By my count David Wells is next with 239 (56th), then Kenny Rogers with 219 (76th), John Smoltz 213 (88th), and Jimmy Key 186 (145th).

The point here is that Timmy John racked up an impressive win total because of the surgery, not despite it.  It hasn't had that same affect though on very many others.  While the surgery has allowed a lot of pitchers to come back and pitch at all, the list who have been effective reads more like a who's who of has-beens and unfulfilled promises.  Unfortunately Capuano will fit well on the list.

Where would you put the over/under on career Major League wins for Cappy from this point forward?  I'd put it at one.

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