Is It Possible Capuano Just Isn't Very Good?

I don't have the time this morning to take a really in-depth look at that question, but I think Cappy's awesome first half last year is seriously clouding our judgment. (I can't speak for the rest of you, I guess, but I know it has clouded mine.) He had a great '05, too, but has now been very mediocre for a solid year.

Thanks to the wonders of baseball-reference.com, here's a breakdown of Capuano's last full season or so:

Split     W    L     ERA     IP      BB      K       HR
Last 365  6    14    5.16    174.1   58      132     28

2 Half 06 1    8     5.17    92.1    22      62      19

July '06  1    3     5.94    36.1    6       20      9
Aug '06   1    1     2.32    31      3       28      4
Sept '06  0    4     6.39    38      13      21      6

1 Half 07 5    6     4.78    79      33      67      9

Apr '07   4    0     3.21    28      13      21      2
May '07   1    4     4.60    31.1    8       24      3
June '07  0    1     6.55    11      7       15      2
July '07  0    1     10.03   11.2    8       10      2
Basically, he had good months last August and this April. The rest has been ugly, and even including those two months, he looks like the guy we're afraid Claudio Vargas is about to turn into.

The walks, incidentally, have only been a problem lately; in the last 365 days, his walk rate has been better than it was during his solid '05 campaign. There's a degree of unluckiness in this, I think, but now that we have a solid year of below-average performance to go on, I think it's time that we face the fact that Capuano is a #4 starter at best. We can't use the "Mike Maddux will fix him" line, because it looks like Maddux did fix him, and he's gotten unfixed. We can't expect him to improve up to a still-forthcoming peak, since he's 29 and it looks like his peak may well have been two years ago.

I don't know exactly what to make of this, but if we are aggressively looking for a way to get Gallardo into the rotation, it's possible that it would be better to drop Cappy from the rotation than Bush or Vargas. Unfortunately, it's a tough call: this rotation that I thought, coming into the season, had an ace and 3 or 4 #3 starters has ended up being stacked with #4s and #5s.

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