Saturday, June 12, 2010

Looking back at the Matt Capps Situation

After the Washington Nationals just swept the Buccos with former Pirate Matt Capps getting saves in the first two games of the series; it's a perfect time to look back at the Matt Capps situation last off season.

Did Neil Huntington make the right move regarding Capps?  As much as I usually have NH's back on his moves, he dropped the ball regarding Capps.  Would this team be better with Capps as the closer? No. Should Capps be a member of this bullpen? Not at all.  The bullpen has done a fine job.  However, there is absolutely no way Capps should have been released.  They could have gotten something for him last season or even during the off season.  It's just a simple case of the Pirates over valuing their players as usual.

Let's take a look at both Capps and Octavio Dotel's season up to date.  Capps is 0-3 with a 3.38 era and 20 saves while Dotel is 0-2 with a much higher 5.40 era and 12 saves.  Naturally, Capps is doing a better job, Right?  Not really.

Capps got off to a tremendous April, saving 12 games, sporting a 0.68 era.  On the other hand, Dotel wasn't very good in the season's first month, notching only 3 saves with a 10.61era.  Since that time though, Dotel has been much better.  He has notched 9 saves with a 0.82 era in May and June, while Capps has been more Capps-like.  The former Pirate has 8 saves in the last month and a half,  but an era of 6.12.

Given the choice of the two. I'd still go with Dotel.  Most of the reason his numbers look bad is due to having to pitch in a bunch of Pirates April blow outs where he didn't pitch well.  On the other hand, much of Capps early success is due to being able to pitch in save situations on a regular basis.   Closers can't be run out every fifth day like a starter would and pitch effectively.  Good closers need to pitch three or four times a week.  Obviously that won't be the case in Pittsburgh.  Capps performance of late, along with the call up of rookie Drew Storen; already have Nats fans wondering how long the team will stick with Capps as it's closer.

NH should have been more aggressive when dealing with Capps.  He had value and should have been moved at the deadline last season.  This season, I expect only two or three deadline deals, with most of the Pirates young future already starting to arrive.  With the emergence of Evan Meek along with Joel Hanrahan, they should be able to handle the ninth inning just fine.

Dotel should have value to contending teams at the deadline. Let's hope NH doesn't drop the ball with him as he did with Matt Capps.


  1. Capps is still garbage

  2. Yeah. capps is a bum. Deal Dotel also. I'm not concerned with who hets saves this season.

    Give Meek the job for next yr

  3. I agree. How do you just release the guy? I mean he was a bum, but he could have brought in something in return

  4. Both guys aren't very good. The closer should be the last thing this team is worried about