Moments after publishing an optimistic look at the Miami Marlins health going into 2016, we heard our first bad news of the offseason. The Fish may have lost a key piece of their pitching staff this week. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald is reporting that Carter Capps underwent an MRI on his throwing arm after experiencing discomfort and is looking to get a second opinion. Here is the full quote:
"According to two sources, hard-throwing reliever Carter Capps - a contender for the closer's role - underwent a MRI after complaining of soreness in his right elbow.... Capps... is expected to seek a second opinion"
Obviously, this is a huge blow to the bullpen. Capps was expected to compete with A.J. Ramos for the closing role. At the very least, he was slated to be the set-up man after a strong 2015 season.
Capps rose to prominence last season due to his excellent performance and unique pitching motion. In the 2015 season review, Michael explained how Capps delivery helped him produce a fastball with a higher perceived velocity than any pitch in baseball. Ironically, it is this same pitching delivery that may be causing Capps' health problems. His high velocity and odd mechanics could be putting unnecessary stress on his throwing arm, putting him at risk. In fact, research has shown a correlation between maximum pitch velocity and elbow injuries. Essentially, higher pitching velocity increases the risk of injury. Capps pitching his fastball around 99 mph in combination with his odd delivery may make him a ticking time bomb - he already had his 2015 season cut short due to an elbow injury.
Capps heading for a second opinion sets off red flags for a number of reasons. Typically, a second opinion is sought when a patient is looking for multiple viewpoints on the diagnosis and treatment of a particular health problem. Although this is just speculation, Capps may be seeking multiple opinions on the course of treatment for his injury, or is looking to see if the initial diagnosis is incorrect. This indicates the injury may be serious. Spencer is also reporting that the Marlins are already looking for relief help via trade. None of this looks good. Capps' 2015 season was cut short due to injury, and it is possible that his 2016 season will end in a similar fashion.
We will keep you updated on this developing story.
Joe Frisaro is reporting that Capps is having an MRI "for precautionary reasons." Here is the full quote:
"Due to his injury history, a source said the MRI is for precautionary reasons. Still, there is concern, because Capps has missed time the past two seasons due to elbow-related issues."
This seems more optimistic than Clark Spencer's Miami Herald report. Hopefully, good news is on the horizon.