Chris Capuano: Experienced Knife Fighter

He doesn’t have a cannon and can’t throw fireballs, but he’s on my team anyway
Photo Credit: NJ Baseball

The day ended early for Chris Capuano, but it was a success nonetheless. The Mets Starting Pitcher lasted six innings against the Athletics [5 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 7 K] before exiting the game with an abdomen injury. It was a late start due to a rain delay and Capuano did relate his physical malady to being rushed into the game when play began. We’ll find out more about his status on Friday, but it should be no thing. Chris can’t be phased by an ailment of the abdomen, this guy has survived two knife fights with Tommy John. Putting his medical history and current health issue aside for the moment we should recognize what Capuano has done this year and why you should pay attention to the 8% owned Starting Pitcher.

More Capuano action and Thursday’s recap after the jump.

The Pitcher Formerly Known as “Chris Bat Guano” is pitching well this season, despite what his (1.37) WHIP may tell you. That dastardly WHIP is always spreading lies I tell you. Capuano’s Strikeout rate is helpful (7.46 K/9). The league average for K/9 was 6.98 coming into today’s games. Despite his meh Fastball, that sits around 87 mph, Capuano is able to induce Swinging Strikes with his Change-up and Slider. His 10.3% Sw-Str% ranks 16th among the league’s SP. He’s throwing plenty of First Pitch Strikes (63%) which was the focus of his game plan against Oakland on Thursday. Chris does a good job of limiting free passes too, his 2.52 BB/9 is well below the league average (3.20).

So where does this 1.37 WHIP come from? A bad luck BABIP, that’s where. His Batting Average of Balls In Play was .321 coming into today’s game despite him limiting Line Drives. Capuano’s 16.2% LD% is great, anything below 20% is good. The ugly BABIP is disguising how well Capuano is pitching. If we used a number that would more likely represent his Batted Ball profile and track record, say a .285 BABIP, he’d be brandishing a 1.25 WHIP and a 3.90 FIP.

Control, ability to miss bats and keep hitters off balance, ERA, shoulda-woulda-coulda WHIP; Capuano passes my check list. Anyone who summons the power knowledge of Sandy Koufax is OK with me [NY Post]. Capuano has had an issues with Home Runs allowed in the past, but Citi Field has helped normalize that. He’s owned in only 8% of Y! leagues, but he’s a quality SP5 in your standard issue format. If you have the innate ability to ignore bad luck BABIP numbers you may want to check your league’s lost and found bin for Chris Capuano.

What else happened on Thursday…

Jemile Weeks (18% owned) started out hot, but is starting to cool down. He has struck out in six straight games (8 total Ks). The incredibly high BABIP (.378) has helped hide the whiffage, but that will eventually cool down too. Despite these current and soon-to-be hiccups, Jemile led off for Oakland on Thursday and went 1 for 3 with a walk at the plate and stole two bases. He crossed the plate one time. He could very well post a high BABIP, say .330ish, but it won’t be no .379 when all is said and done. Jemile is definitely a useful player now that he’s stealing bases more than ever (he’s up to six now) and leading off for Oakland.

Oh Wily Mo. The Weapon of Mass Production, Wily Mo Pena (0%), has struck out six times in eleven At Bats. It’s hard to hit Home Runs when you can’t hit the ball. Adam Dunn should hang out with WMP, his 41.9% K% wouldn’t look so bad standing next to Wily Mo’s 55% K%.

Alcides Escobar (29%) went 1 for 3 with a RBI single. He went without a Hit Tuesday/Wednesday, but on the whole he’s still piling up the base hits during the past the past three weeks. He’s raised his Batting Average 45 points and stole seven bases since June 4th.

Felipe Paulino (1%) pitched well in terms of Strike Outs and Walks, but it was a couple of Home Runs (Miguel Montero, Juan Miranda) that sullied his ERA. Paulino pitched 8 innings of five run ball against the Diamondbacks [9 H, 1 BB, 8 K]. 

Eric Hosmer (52%) hasn’t hit a HR since May 30th. He has only two extra base hits in the month of June.

Jon Jay (7%) took Roy Oswalt deep, this was Jay’s 5th HR of the season. He added to the solo shot with a RBI-walk in the 8th. Jay has the skills to produce useful numbers for us, think .280-10-20 over a full season, but he doesn’t get consistent playing time. Jon has played in 74 games, but he has logged only 174 At Bats. Blame TLR and his micro-managing.

It was a MLB short day, this is all you get – til next time – @andrewakamds