Matt Capps
Matt Capps
35-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Matt Capps in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Agreed to a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks in February of 2016.
Set for showcase this Sunday
PFree Agent  
April 19, 2017
Capps is holding a showcase for scouts this weekend in hopes of returning to the big leagues, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Capps spent last season with Triple-A Reno, where he posted a 5.15 ERA over 39 appearances and compiled a 47:21 K:BB. A return to the majors is still a long shot for the 33-year-old, but he's clearly committed to continuing his career.
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Capps began last season as Minnesota's closer but struggled with a sore shoulder starting in June and made just three appearances after the All-Star break. He was sidelined from early July until late September with irritation in his rotator cuff. Before the injury, Capps had bounced back from a terrible 2011 season as he converted 14-of-15 save chances. However, both his strikeout rate (5.5 K/9) and velocity (92.4 mph average fastball) were still down significantly from his strong 2010 season. He returned to make a token appearance in September to show he was healthy, but do not expect him to take over a closer role. While a team may value his experience as a closer and like how he is not afraid to go after hitters, his declining velocity, strikeout rates and struggles giving up the long ball suggest he will have a hard time winning or keeping a closer job.
Even though he struggled last season, blowing nine of 24 save chances, the Twins re-signed Capps and he enters 2012 as Minnesota's likely closer. Capps began the season as the team's top setup man after Joe Nathan returned from Tommy John surgery. However, Nathan struggled initially and he quickly took over the closer role. Capps fared even worse as he blew seven of 22 save chances with a 4.76 ERA before losing the job on July 15. He didn't fare much better in a setup role with a 3.46 ERA and just a 13:7 K:BB ratio in 26 innings the rest of the season. Capps' overall numbers were ugly as he had a career-low 4.66 K/9 IP and gave up 10 home runs in just 65.2 innings. However, he said after the season he pitched much of the year with wrist tendinitis. The Twins like how he's not afraid to go right after hitters in the closer role and have memories of his success as the closer in 2010 with Nathan hurt. Minnesota is also heavily invested in his success having traded Wilson Ramos for him in 2010 and perhaps there's some appetite to show it wasn't a wasted move. As a result, expect Capps to begin the season as the closer and be given a long leash. However, he doesn't have the dominant velocity or ability to keep the ball in the park of top closers, so don't invest too much in a comeback.
After struggling with the Pirates in 2009, Capps was non-tendered and the Nationals struck gold when they signed him to a one-year deal. Capps found his previous All-Star form and saved 26-of-30 games for the Nationals with a 2.74 ERA and 38:9 K:BB ratio in 46 innings. He was then traded to Minnesota in July, where he took over closing duties and was equally as successful by converting 16 of 18 save chances with a 2.00 ERA. Capps improved his velocity (to an average 94 mph fastball), increased his groundball rate (to 43 percent) and kept the ball in the park after homers plagued him in 2009. He doesn't have a dominant strikeout rate for a closer (7.27 K/9IP), but goes right after hitters and keeps the ball on the ground. However, his status as Minnesota's closer is uncertain heading into 2010 as Joe Nathan is set to return after missing last season due to Tommy John surgery. Capps will likely begin the season as the closer, but he could cede the role to Nathan once he's back to full speed. It's also possible Nathan works in a setup role all season if he struggles and the two could share the closer role. Either way, it's going to be hard to pay full closer pricing for Capps given the uncertainty.
Capps has battled elbow, shoulder and weight issues the past couple seasons and his performance has gotten progressively worse. Pittsburgh relied on the bulky right-hander as its undisputed closer in 2009 and suffered the consequences. Even though Capps successfully converted 27 of 32 saves opportunities, he posted career-worst marks in ERA (5.80), WHIP (1.656), and OBA (.324). Pittsburgh non-tendered Capps last fall, and he signed a one-year deal with the Nationals, where he'll likely take over as Washington's closer. He'll need to reverse his recent decline to keep the closer job even in Washington.
Capps lost nearly two months of the 2008 season with shoulder bursitis, but still managed to save 21 games. At 25 years of age, he's already appeared in 214 major-league games. Admittedly out of shape last year, Capps lost 15 pounds during his DL stint last summer. Unfortunately, he also lost a few miles per hour off of his fastball. Once consistently clocked in the mid-90's, it wasn't unusual to see the still-burly righty hover around 90 mph with his impeccably-controlled heater. Capps' numbers, which included a 3.02 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and an amazing 39:5 K:BB ratio, give him fantasy value on a team that barely won more games (67) than Francisco Rodriguez saved (62). His ability to stay healthy will determine how far that fantasy value goes.
Capps really only has one good pitch but it's a mid-90's fastball that continues to defy major league hitters with its pinpoint accuracy. Capps, a fearless bulldog on the mound, never backs down from a challenge and it's that kind of toughness that made the decision easier to turn the ninth inning over to him despite being just 24 years old last season. A set-up man a year earlier, Capps had just two blown saves after June 1. He improved in a number of statistical categories, lowering his earned run average from 3.79 to 2.28, his WHIP from 1.153 to 1.013, and his opponents' batting average from .266 to .220. There was plenty of concern that Pittsburgh was overworking him when he appeared in 85 games as a rookie, but the club reduced his games pitched to 76 while maintaining a nearly identical workload of 79 innings (as compared with 80.2 in 2006). Simply put, Capps represents the best bet for fantasy production from the Pirates' pitching staff and perhaps the entire team in 2008.
There's not much not to like about Capps. The 23-year-old righthander is blessed with a mid-90s sinking fastball and pinpoint control. The rubber-armed reliever led all MLB rookies in games pitched (85) and threw better on no days rest (2.49 ERA) than overall 3.79. Capps' 10-1 record was the best by a Pirates' rookie reliever since 1977, when Kent Tekulve went 10-1 as Goose Gossage's set-up man. He walked just five batters unintentionally in 80.2 innings. As with any young pitcher with little track record, Capps could take a step backward. He did allow 12 home runs. That said, Capps' future is bright and if things break the right way he could be in line for the Pirates' closer's job sooner than anyone expects.
Capps made the biggest organizational leap in the Pirates' organization in 2005, going from Single-A Hickory to the Bucs as a September callup. The 22-year-old right-hander possesses a 95-mph heater and good control. A converted starter, Capps saved 21 games in 2005 and walked just six batters in 79 innings. He'll likely start the 2006 season with Double-A Altoona.
More Fantasy News
PArizona Diamondbacks  
February 29, 2016
Capps agreed to a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks on Monday, Baseball America reports.
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PFree Agent  
April 7, 2015
Capps re-signed with the Braves on a minor-league contract Monday, MLB.com reports.
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PAtlanta Braves  
March 9, 2015
Capps was re-assigned to minor league camp on Monday.
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PAtlanta Braves  
February 10, 2015
Capps has signed a minor league contract with the Braves that includes an invite to spring training, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
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Matt Capps: (Shoulder) Shut Down Due To Soreness
PCleveland Indians  
Shoulder
May 22, 2014
Capps (shoulder) has been shut down in extended spring training due to recurring soreness.
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