Is Carter Capps Capable Of Being A Solid Setup Man For Miami Marlins?

By Ryan Gaydos
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins traded first baseman Logan Morrison to the Seattle Mariners in the winter. In return, the Marlins received right-handed reliever Carter Capps, who has a fiery fastball and a lot of potential to do wonders in the Marlins’ bullpen in front of closer Steve Cishek. There is a lot riding on the 23-year old, but the biggest question about Capps is whether or not he is capable of being consistent.

During his two seasons with the Mariners, Capps pitched in 84 innings over 71 appearances, most of them coming from last season. He has a career 5.04 ERA, 94 strikeouts, 1.571 WHIP and a 2.57 K/BB. Capps is particularly better against right-handed batters than he is against left-handed batters. Righties are only batting .266/.312/.402 with 63 strikeouts against him. Those numbers make Capps seem like a better fit to take on righties only rather than batters on both sides.

With Mike Dunn in the bullpen, it would be better for him to take on left-handed batters in particular situations. Dunn and the Marlins still have to sign a deal to avoid arbitration. Last season, Dunn held left-handed batters to a .192/.274/.275 average and only walked 14 batters.

Dunn can provide enough protection for Capps to succeed in the eighth innings. However, Capps needs to be self-sufficient in order to secure the spot that he is contending for. Capps will have to fight off A.J. Ramos for that spot. Ramos has been just as effective as Capps with a 3.22 ERA in 79 games. Both pitchers will be vying for that role in 2014.

The first month of the season will be a good determination of whether or not Capps can succeed in the majors.

Ryan Gaydos is a MLB columnist for Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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