Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Twins Closer Issues – Capps Screwed?

The Minnesota Twins didn’t start out they way they wanted to this year. They had the worst record in baseball through the first month and change. Injuries piled up and fans weren’t selling out Target Field in its sophomore year.

Things seem to be changing here over the last month or so. Twins have won 21 of their last 30. Fans are piling back into Target Field. Any maybe the most important thing, the Twins are only 7 games out of first place.

You have all heard my prediction, “If they Twins are within 5 games of the division lead by the All-Star break, they will win it.” Nothing has changed; I’m sticking by my prediction.

Seems the only person that wants to stop my prediction from coming true is Matt Capps. Capps took over the closer role from Rauch last year and has been the 9th inning guy ever since. However, that might have all changed this weekend.

Nathan seems to have regained his dominate form. Perkins has pitched outstanding and is 2 for 2 in closing situations. All this while Capps is blowing leads and taking early showers. Capps has been off in his last three outings. Blowing a 7-4 lead Saturday night in the 9th, getting pulled after back to back hits on Sunday and giving up a solo shot to start off the 9th in last nights game.

Capps is sporting a fat 4.79 ERA. Not good. Nathan isn’t sitting much better at 6.20, but that number is falling fast after a rough start to the season. Perkins has the lowest ERA of all active pitchers that have seen more than 2 games of action at 1.78. And, as we all know, in the world of sport, it’s a “What have you done for me lately” attitude.

Most times, I don’t believe in that. But, with the Twins playing better and trying to get back in the race, it fits. The team can’t have Capps out there blowing leads and giving everyone heart attacks. We went through enough of it with him last year.

Solution – Give it back to Nathan. He has that fire back in his eyes and that twitch in his neck. He has been one of the best, if not the best, closers in the game. He deserves another shot to earn his spot back. Perkins has been great, but I’d like to see more. Move him to the 8th inning spot and Capps to middle relief. Welcome to the doghouse Capps.

There will be teams in need of closers at the trade deadline. With Nathan seemingly back and Perkins doing his thing, I think the cap should be closed and Matt should back his bags.

We are clawing our way back into a pennant race. We can’t afford an overpriced closer taking that away from us.

You heard the fans all weekend, “BOOOOO!” If we can see if from our standing room only spots than Bill Smith should be able to see it from his luxury suite. Capps needs to go. He was an average closer to fill in while Nathan was hurt. It’s that simple. Nothing more, nothing less. But shhhh, don’t tell the other teams that think he is a great closer. We want to rob them in a trade.

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