Sox plan on using Capuano out of pen

Sox plan on using Capuano out of pen
February 21, 2014, 1:30 pm
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FORT MYERs, Fla. -- Newly-signed Chris Capuano, who is due to report for a physical at some point Friday, was attractive to the Red Sox because he provides depth for their starting rotation.
     
But unless and until he's needed in that capacity, the Red Sox love the fact that he can also contribute out of the bullpen.
     
Of Capuano's 238 career appearances in the majors, only 29 have come in relief. But Capuano has, in many ways, performed better in that role than he has as a starter.
     
Capuano has a 3.42 ERA in relief (compared to a 4.31 starter ERA), and both his WHIP (1.268 in relief; 1.331 as a starter) and OPS against (.739 in relief; .769 as a starter).
     
The contrast was especially strong last season with the Dodgers, when in four appearances in relief, he didn't allow a run in 4 1/3 innings, while striking out seven.
     
"He gives us a depth start if that need should arise," said John Farrell, "but at the moment, all things considered, he would pitch out of the bullpen for us. When he switched to the bullpen last year with the Dodgers, there was very good performance. That's the one thing that's attracted us to him, in addition to the experience as a starter as well."
     
Were Capuano to pitch out of the bullpen, he would give the Red Sox a third lefty reliever, joining Craig Breslow and Andrew Miller.
     
"In our division (that could help us out) quite a bit," said Farrell, "when you consider the lineups that are in this division, particularly when you have a guy like Bres, who's not solely (a lefty-on-lefty reliever) and the emergence of Andrew last year, where their effective against righthanders has been equal.
     
"This is a case of, potentially, three lefties, but yet very good capability to get both (lefty and righty hitters)."
     
Capuano was particularly tough on lefties last year, limiting them to a .566 OPS. He went the entire season without giving up a homer to an opposing lefty hitter.