While it may appear as though the Los Angeles Dodgers have a surplus of pitchers, including some who could serve a duel-role by starting or coming out of the bullpen, the team is reportedly interested in adding yet another arm to the roster.
According to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com, the Dodgers remain in contention for free agent Chris Capuano’s services:
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 15, 2014
For a while, the 35-year-old left-hander was reportedly searching for a two-year deal, but the pitchers market hasn’t developed as most predicted before the start of the off-season. The Dodgers decided earlier in the off-season to decline his $8 million mutual option and bought him out for just $1 million. Capuano pitched with the Dodgers in 2012 and 2013, making 53 starts, a total of 57 appearances and going 16-19.
2013 proved to be somewhat of a difficult season for the left-hander as he posted the second-lowest ERA+ of his career (84) and had a 4.26 ERA, up from 2012’s 3.72 ERA, which had been his lowest mark since 2005. Capuano’s WHIP (1.41) and hits per nine innings (10.6) were also highs since the 2007 season.
Capuano’s struggles last season may be tied to the three instances he dealt with injury. In mid-April, Capuano was placed on the disabled list until May 6 with a strained left calf. Then at the end of May, he was again placed on the DL due to a shoulder strain. The injury woes didn’t stop there however, as Capuano suffered a groin strain on Sept. 6 and he didn’t appear in another game until Sept. 27.
Despite the bouts with injury, Capuano still managed to pitch 105.2 innings on the season, which marked the third straight year and four out of the last five seasons in which he eclipsed 100 innings. However, his 2013 total was significantly down 2012’s 198.1 innings pitched. Potentially signing Capuano would be an insurance move when considering two of the current pitchers on staff who may be relied upon, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett, are coming off significant injuries. If the Dodgers are able to re-sign Capuano at a low cost, he could act as a valuable innings-eater come June or August.
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