Monday, June 25, 2012

Matt Capps Paper Doll, and Being Snippy About It

The Twins have placed RHP Matt Capps on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. He had a MRI on Monday, which indicated that there is no damage, just inflammation, and it sounds like he's going to have a cortisone shot this week.

Left-handed pitcher Tyler Robertson was recalled to take Capps' roster spot. Gardy said that he will use LHP Glen Perkins and RHP Jared Burton, as matchups dictate, as the closers. With lefty Brian Duensing now in the rotation, Robertson will be used as the LOOGY (lefty one out guy).

So, let's recap Capps' last week or so. He pitched on June 15th against the Brewers in a tie game and lost the game, though it was on an unearned run. The next day, he mentioned that his shoulder was sore, so the Twins shut him down for a week to let it heal. Then, about Friday or so, it sounded like he was getting kind of impatient with the resting thing. Actually, the way I read it, it seemed like he was getting kind of snippy. Then, he backed off and said he understood. Then, the Twins found a nice, low-pressure situation on Saturday. He looked horrible, but he said he was only rusty, and he was pretty encouraged with the outing. Then he woke up Sunday morning, and it hurt again. Finally, the Twins got serious and put him on the DL.

The whole idea of the DL -- its entire reason for existence -- is for the team to get a replacement man while the injured player heals. It's completely intended to protect the team so that all 25 men on the roster are truly available as needed. Sure, giving a banged up guy a day or two rest is pretty common, and totally expected. But if a team is committed to giving a guy a full week's rest, it may as well fill out the paperwork, make a phone call to the AAA club, and do it right. It takes pressure off the injured player to try to get out there before he's ready, and it takes pressure off his teammates who have to fill his void.

So, the Twins unwillingness to put Capps on the DL when he first experienced the inflammation is beyond me. And because they let him try to pitch on Saturday, the whole "retroactive to June 15th" thing is gone. So now the earliest he can come back is July 9.

What's going on here? Did Capps under-report the extent of his pain? Probably. Do the Twins over-value being gutty and playing through the pain? No doubt. Did the medical staff mess up? Well, ...

It's frustrating that not only are so many players getting hurt, but the Twins also don't seem to be able to handle the ones who do correctly.

Also, I really don't believe Gardy will stick with the "closer by committee" scheme for more than a game or two. He's too in love with the idea of having an assigned closer.

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