Matt Capps’ quest to claim a spot in the Indians bullpen for Opening Day has taken a hit.
The right-handed reliever who owns 138 career saves has been shut down for a couple weeks due to a right shoulder strain.
“He has a slight shoulder strain, so we’re gonna shut him down for probably a minimum of a couple weeks, let him get that strengthened up,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.“(We want) to give him a chance to show what he can do, rather than have that artificial deadline of Opening Day.”
If there’s a silver lining to Capps’ latest setback, it’s that the strain of his subscapularis muscle (the largest muscle in the rotator cuff) isn’t related to the surgery he underwent in June to repair a biceps tendon that cost him most of the year at Triple-A Columbus.
“It’s frustrating because I was feeling really good,” Capps, 30, told reporters after the Indians morning workout Thursday. “…(But) the nature of the beast with shoulder surgeries is you usually hit a speed bump or two. Hopefully, this is my one.”
Capps is among 20 relievers in camp vying for relief roles after closer Chris Perez was released and the trio of Matt Albers, Rich Hill and set-up man Joe Smith signed elsewhere as free agents.