Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Has Chris Capuano thrown his last pitch for Yankees?

The New York Yankees felt they needed veteran depth for the rotation during the offseason and signed Chris Capuano to a one-year, $5 million contract to fit the role. Capuano supplied the Yankees with some decent innings in 2014, but at the time of the signing I felt this was an unnecessary deal. After putting up a 6.97 ERA this season, maybe it’s time the Yankees felt the same way.

The need for Capuano with Adam Warren, Bryan Mitchell and others in the system seemed like a move that didn’t need to be made, but for the Yankees, $5 million is a splash in the bucket. It’s hard to get too riled up when it’s not my money, but Capuano on the mound causes more than just bad results for the team. He’s taking a roster spot; one which could go to a pitcher who could grow with time on the major league roster. And more importantly, be better.

Capuano could not get out of the first inning of what turned out to be a Yankees' rout Tuesday night. In two-thirds of an inning, Capuano walked five batters, allowed three hits and five earned runs. He was rescued by the offense, which put up three touchdowns (PATs included) and a no-hit combination of Diego Moreno and Warren for the remainder eight and one-third innings.

To go along with Capuano’s bloated ERA, he is now 0-4 with a 1.77 WHIP in 31 innings pitched. Capuano owns an ERA- of 174 (100 is average) and has an fWAR of -0.1 per FanGraphs.

Capuano has two jobs; keep games from getting completely out of hand in long relief and make a spot start here and there which should also result in keeping the team close in a few innings of work. He’s been unable to do either. In his previous appearance to the disastrous start Tuesday, Capuano allowed four earned runs in one inning of relief.

This is simply not working out and the Yankees must come to the realization that one of their minor leaguers (please not Esmil Rogers) should occupy the role. Moreno was great, but he’ll likely get sent down for a fresh arm Wednesday. Mitchell was pitching well out of the pen before the Yanks shifted him back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre so he remains an option. Or maybe the Yankees finally bite the bullet by adding a starter via trade and shifting CC Sabathia to the bullpen.

Whatever way it works out, Capuano can no longer be relied on to do anything, not even give some innings. It’s time to admit the signing did not work out and move on.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.