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Monday, May 25, 2009
Capps goes down, maybe out


Just saw Matt Capps get nailed in the pitching elbow by one of Geovany Soto's few hard-hit balls all spring. Capps was hurting bad and left the field almost immediately, and we can only hope that he didn't suffer some sort of fracture. Capps, one of the Pirates' few bright spots these last few years, has been knocked around pretty good this season but enjoyed his best outing of the season on Sunday against the White Sox.

Now he might be out for a while, which means something's going to change. Obviously (at least to me), the best candidate for Capps' replacement -- if the Pirates need one -- is Jesse Chavez, who throws hard and strikes people out. Granted, Chavez has not been a real setup man -- that job's been held mostly by John Grabow and Sean Burnett. Chavez is pretty clearly the best pitcher left in the bullpen, though.

But before anyone thinks, "Hey, no problem" there's this: Chavez has pitched more innings than Capps this season. So while his innings presumably haven't been as high-leverage as Capps', the fact is that someone's going to have pitch Chavez' "old" innings, and those count, too. And I don't see anyone on the roster who's up for that job.