Carter Capps made his first appearance with the Marlins on Monday, and after some questions with regard to his delivery followed, it may prove to be a memorable one. The Marlins learned that Capps' delivery is indeed legal, however with David Phelps set to start on Friday, Miami optioned Capps to Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday.
Miami's bullpen has been used often to begin the year, and with Phelps being placed on the paternity list on Monday afternoon, the club also promoted Jose Urena. The Marlins were expected to option Urena once Phelps was activated to pitch against the Mets, but after he pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Tuesday, FOX Sports' Christina De Nicola notes Miami may want to keep Urena in the bullpen as another long relief option.
Capps was acquired in the Logan Morrison trade with Seattle, and the Marlins are fond of his power arm. Although he did not make the club out of spring training, Capps was expected to be promoted at some point this season. But in his first major league outing of the year, it was his delivery and not his velocity that drew the most attention.
Before he delivers the ball, Capps hops off the pitching rubber and drags his toe across the dirt. As a result, he lands closer to the plate than the average pitcher, and is able to hide the ball before releasing it.
Capps has appeared in close to 100 games since 2012 and gives the Marlins bullpen depth. While his delivery may appear odd, it was deemed legal by Major League Baseball. It first came into question last Thursday during a minor league game. Each of the first two pitches he threw were considered illegal and as a result were deemed automatic balls.
After being recalled, Capps told MLB.com's Joe Frisaro he did not traditionally have a problem with an umpire with regard to his delivery.
"They just said they wanted me to make sure I dragged my foot and not get too elevated in the air, and make sure it's more on a lateral plane," Capps said. "As long as I do that, they have no problem with it. But it was very strange."
The Marlins will likely recall Capps again at some point in 2015. When he is promoted, his delivery may not appear as distinct because it has been highlighted.