Move Capuano To The Bullpen And Promote Schwinden To The Rotation

An article by posted on August 22, 2011

Mets Brewers Capuano.JPG

 Well, do you ever get the feeling that the story’s
too damn real and in the present tense?
Or that everybody’s on the stage, and it seems like
you’re the only person sitting in the audience?  ~ Jethro Tull

Saturday night’s 11-9 defeat was certainly not for the faint of heart, and while most of the rancor was directed at Jason Isringhausen, lets not forget it was starter Chris Capuano who allowed the Brewers’ first seven runs. It was just another atrocious start in a string of ugly starts for the Mets’ southpaw.

When you consider that Capuano only allowed five hits in 5.1 innings of work, you might say “that doesn’t seem so bad”, until you realize three of those hits were crushed for back-breaking home runs. He only walked three batters, but guess what? They all scored!

Capuano is killing this team right now. I’m not gonna hammer him for giving up moon shots to Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, there’s no shame in that, but a 450 footer from Yuniesky Betancourt? Really?

Capuano has now surrendered 21 homers this season, tops on the Mets. He hasn’t won a game since July 28 and has a 6.12 ERA is seven games since than. His fastball, which sits at 87-89mph, isn’t getting by anyone.

Look, we’re not talking about a rookie like Dillon Gee or a sophomore like Jon Niese here, Cappy is 32 and was supposed to be the veteran addition that was going to bolster the rotation this season. He hasn’t, and what’s even worse now are the details of that deal he signed in the offseason.

Capuano signed a one-year contract with a guaranteed $1.5 million base salary in January, but according to ESPN, he is racking up some big bucks in bonus incentives.

Capuano has now secured at least $2.65 million based on having logged 24 starts and 145 1/3 innings. He will continue to earn $75,000 for each of next seven starts. He also gets $175,000 for crossing 150 innings, $175,000 for crossing 160 innings, $200,000 for crossing 170 innings and another $200,000 should he cross 180 innings.

It’s time to move on already and stop wasting money, which is in short supply, as well as wasting valuable starts on someone like Capuano who has no role and no future with this team beyond October 1st.

Decisions must be made about our rotation for next season, and one possible pitcher is right-hander Chris Schwinden who is having a solid season for Triple-A Buffalo.

The 24-year old has made 24 starts and in 133 innings pitched he has allowed 117 hits and 44 walks while striking out 124 batters. He has a 3.52 ERA to go with a 1.21 WHIP and a 8.4 K/9 rate. Our own Nicholas Pugliese spotlighted Schwinden last month and wrote the following:

While Schwinden isn’t the most overpowering pitcher on the planet, I do not like when people refer to him as not having enough “stuff” to get Major League hitters out. He is much like Gee, in that the overall command of his fastball and good off-speed pitch should be enough to keep hitters honest at the next level. In Gee’s case the pitch is a changeup, but for Schwinden it will be good old Uncle Charlie and being a guy who gets a lot of flyballs he could benefit greatly from pitching in Citi Field. He is still just a C prospect, but I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility for him to have a Gee type of impact at some point this season or next.

Schwinden is slated to be called up in September anyway, so lets stop monkeying around and bring him up now so we can see if he has what it takes to succeed at this level. His manager and pitching coach have been raving about him all season, it’s time to see what this kid is all about.

If the big concern is finding room for him before rosters expand, here’s an idea – cut Igarashi and shift Capuano into the bullpen. There, problem solved.

Look, I’m kind of ticked-off at how this season has disintegrated since we started bailing out in July. Truth be told, I often wonder how far this team could have gone with a little more help this offseason, and a lifesaver or two at the trade deadline. Terry Collins has done a remarkable job of keeping our guys motivated. They’ve had to rely completely on themselves and three-quarters of the Buffalo Bison’s roster for most of this season. I applaud them for their valiant effort.

But now it’s clearly time to move on and stop wasting our time with the Tim Byrdak’s and the Chris Capuano’s of the world.

It turned out this season was a throw-away after all (big surprise, huh?). Can we at least start working toward not making the 2012 season a throw-away too?

Thankfully, I won’t have to hear about how Sandy Alderson’s hands are tied anymore. He’s got $65 million dollars now. let’s see what he’s going to do with it.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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