The Miami Marlins are bracing for bad news after Carter Capps underwent an MRI for his elbow, according to a report by the Miami Herald.
Capps entered spring training in a competition for the role of closer, and would be a tremendous loss for Miami. Capps lit up radar guns and struck out plenty of opposing batters in an eye-opening 2015 season. The potential for that talent in the ninth inning pushed Miami to consider replacing A.J. Ramos as closer this year.
If Capps should end up missing significant time, Ramos would seem to have locked in a return as Miami's closer. The Marlins would also need to find someone to pick up the slack for Capps which would be easier said than done. No other player on Miami's spring roster has shown the ability to consistently throw over 100 miles per hour or put up lofty strikeout totals.
Capps who came over in a trade with the Seattle Mariners in 2013 made headlines last year due to a unique move in his delivery. In addition to throwing harder than most, Capps takes a pseudo-leap off the pitching rubber which results in a smaller distance to home plate. This pitch which was questioned by coaches and players alike, could make Capps appear unhittable at times.
Major League Baseball did not rule against the motion used by Capps, and he was expected to continue its use this year. The key to being within the rules is the ability to maintain constant contact with the rubber and mound. Capps successfully dragged his foot across the dirt while still maintaining exceptional velocity.
While it is difficult to prove, the motion used by Capps could have a potential effect on the health of his arm. Capps missed the end of the 2015 season due to arm problems. The right-hander has also battled arm injuries earlier in his career. Should this continue, Capps may need to consider a change in his wind-up to extend his career.
If Capps is unable to begin the year, the Marlins could bring in help from outside the organization via trades or free agency. With no obvious names on the market, this task could prove to be a difficult one for the front office.