Friday, July 25, 2014

Cashman Brings In Mediocrity in Capuano, Aims Higher

Capuano is the latest lefty to join the Yankees

Chris Capuano had solid years for the Milwaukee Brewers. Notice the past tense in that sentence. Capuano is the latest player in the new game show, "Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks." It's also known as the Brian Cashman "I'll take what I can get" show.

Cashman isn't done looking for pitching though. Reports have the Yankees in discussions for their former first round draft pick Ian Kennedy and Rockies' starter, Jorge De La Rosa.

The Yankees acquired Capuano from the Colorado for cash. The 35-year old left-hander was released on July 1 after he pitched poorly in relief for the Red Sox. The Rockies signed him to a minor league deal just three days later. Capuano was at his peak in his third and fourth full seasons (2005-06) in the Major Leagues. He won 18 games with a sub-4.00 ERA in '05 and followed it up a year later with a tough luck won/loss  record (11-12), despite a 4.03 ERA.

Not yet 30, Capuano appeared ready to make a name for himself, but underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder after a miserable 2007 season. The following spring he injured a ligament in his left elbow during Spring Training and had to undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career. (He previously had the surgery in 2002.)

Capuano returned to the Majors and Milwaukee as a reliever/starter in 2010, before he joined the Mets as a free agent for the 2011 season. He was a decent back-end-of-the-rotation starter for the guys from Queens and topped 186 innings. His comeback was truly complete as a member of the Dodgersin 2011, when he put together solid ERA and WHIP numbers (3.72, 1.220), threw 198.1 innings, and led the NL with 33 starts A variety of injuries limited him to 20 starts in 2013 and his production dropped off as well.

ESPN's Jim Bowden reported on Thursday the Yankees were in discussions with the Padres for Kennedy's services, with prospects Eric Jagielo (3B) and Ian Clarkin (P) being mentioned as part of a deal. However, on Friday, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reported that the Yankees were not "aggressively pursuing" Kennedy. Earlier in the week, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman stated that the Pads would not trade Kennedy unless they were blown away by an offer.

It was also Bowden who reported the Yankees had talked to the Rockies about De La Rosa. A couple of weeks ago, Bowden's colleague Jayson Stark had written that the Rockies were looking for a young pitcher that could join the staff ASAP. The Yankees are not in possession of that type of player, nor are most teams.

After he beat the Nationals on Wednesday, De La Rosa's record stood at 11-6, 4.19 with a 1.284 WHIP in 116.1 innings pitched. The 33-year old left-hander has actually had better results at hitter-friendly Coor's Field than on the road. With some home cooking, De La Rosa's ERA (3.23) is more than two points lower than when he dons the Rockies' road uniform. He's also won seven of his nine decisions in Colorado.

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