His fastball packs steam.
But it’s the development of his slider that has turned Carter Capps into a strikeout machine for the Marlins.
Capps struck out all three Yankees batters he faced Monday and now has the highest whiff rate in the majors: 16.8 Ks per nine innings (25 total strikeouts in 15 innings pitched).
“The biggest thing is he’s been driving the fastball downhill versus pitching up in the zone, and the slider has been an equalizer,” said Marlins manager Dan Jennings. “And his sliders have been extremely good pitches. It’s not just a ‘show’ pitch. It’s a true out pitch.”
Said Capps: “I think mostly guys see the numbers [gun readings] on the board, and then also see that I don'’t have a ton of walks, so they’re just sitting on a heater. If I can drop that slider in for a strike, it gives them something else to think about.”
According to Fangraphs, Capps’ fastball average of 97.6 mph ranks third in the majors behind the Reds’ Aroldis Chapman (99.5) and Pirates’ Arquimedes Caminero (97.8).
If Capps continues to whiff hitters at the same clip, he’ll finish with the highest strikeout rate in Marlins history. The team record belongs to Chad Fox, who averaged 14.34 strikeouts per nine innings in 2004.
Poor weather in Texas prompted the Marlins to cancel plans for Jose Fernandez to make Wednesday’s rehab start for Triple A New Orleans in Round Rock. Instead, Fernandez will head up the Florida highway to pitch Wednesday for Single A Jupiter, which will be play at Brevard County.
The Texas storm also wiped out Tuesday’s rehab start there for Jarred Cosart. Jennings said it’s uncertain when and where Cosart will pitch next, and the team is trying to get him out of the Lone Star State before airports shut down.
▪ First baseman Michael Morse will begin his rehab assignment Wednesday for Double A Jacksonville.
Giancarlo Stanton dropped to fourth in fan voting among National League outfielders for the All-Star Game in the latest update. Stanton sits behind Bryce Harper, Matt Holliday and Nori Aoki.
“He belongs in that top three and he deserves to start in that All-Star Game in Cincinnati,” Jennings said.
Dee Gordon continues to lead second basemen in voting.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (1-2, 4.44) at New York Yankees RHP Michael Pineda (7-3, 3.74), 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium.
▪ Thursday: Marlins RHP Mat Latos (2-4, 5.44) at New York Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (3-7, 5.38), 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium.