The Minnesota Twins have had new closer Matt Capps for about a month now, and so I think it’s time to evaluate his performance so far. Here are the raw stats:
13 G, 13 IP, 6 SV, 2.08 ERA
What I like about Capps is that he seems to have the raw “stuff” to get people out. He has a live fastball, and a decent assortment of breaking pitches to keep opposing batters off-balance.
However, there is a troubling sign that makes the new closer a bit too much like the old one for my tastes…
For all his velocity, Capps is a “pitch to contact” type of closer. Those kind of guys make me nervous, especially in the playoffs when “contact” usually is the equivalent of “base hit”. Now don’t get me wrong…I think that Capps is better suited for the role than Rauch, who didn’t have the live fastball or control of the nasty curve to ever dominate the final inning. However, on a scale of “Guardado-Aguilera-Nathan”, I think Capps falls somewhere between Eddie & Aggie.
Thus, it is very interesting that the Twins just traded for Angels closer Brian Fuentes:
The “official word” is that Fuentes will be used primarily as a setup man to Capps, but Gardy also made the interesting comment that Fuentes could be used in “certain save situations”. I like that reasoning, as it shows me that Gardy understands that Capps isn’t Rivera or Papelbon and thus wants to consider all his options.
Perhaps the best thing that could come out of all of this is that it gives the Twins some bullpen depth, something that always seems to be lacking (on any club, really). Guys like Crain and Guerrier can’t always shoulder the load, the biggest case in point being Matty G., as we may have already burned him out from years of overuse.