Marlins in wait-and-see mode with ailing Capps

Yelich gets day off after experiencing back tightness

March 2nd, 2016

JUPITER, Fla. -- The waiting game continues to determine the severity of Carter Capps' right elbow injury.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday that he had no medical update from Tuesday, when it was revealed Capps' elbow was bothering him. The hard-throwing right-hander had an MRI on Monday after experiencing discomfort on Sunday, and those results have been sent out for a second opinion.

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"We're hoping for the best, and [we'll] see where it goes," Mattingly said.

There is concern that Capps' injury is serious, but until everything is definitive, the club is waiting and seeing.

"I don't know any more right now," Mattingly said. "Again, I haven't talked to the medical [staff] since we've been out here. No different than this morning. We'll find out."

Capps, an overpowering eighth-inning setup reliever last year, was getting a chance to compete with A.J. Ramos for the closer spot in Spring Training. If Capps is out for an extended period, his loss would be significant, because the right-hander is the most imposing threat out of the bullpen. According to Statcast™, Capps' average fastball in 2015 was 98.1 mph.

With an unorthodox delivery in which he propels himself towards the hitter, Capps was often dominant in his 30 appearances and 31 innings in 2015. He posted a 1.16 ERA and logged 58 strikeouts. Opponents rarely reached base, reflected by Capps' 0.81 WHIP.

But Capps' season was cut short due to a right elbow strain suffered on Aug. 2, and he didn't return.

At the start of Spring Training, Capps was on no restrictions. He was throwing regularly along with every other pitcher. Capps experienced discomfort in his throwing arm while warming up prior to facing hitters in a live bullpen session on Sunday. He was shut down and he had the MRI on Monday.

The Marlins have power arms in the back end of the bullpen, but nothing quite like Capps. Bryan Morris, Brian Ellington and Kyle Barraclough are hard-throwing righties.

Miami also is exploring trade possibilities.

Worth noting

• Left fielder Christian Yelich was held out of baseball activities on Wednesday, a light workout day for the club. Yelich experienced some back tightness after Tuesday's exhibition against the University of Miami. Yelich is scheduled to play on Thursday against the Cardinals, but he may wind up getting a couple days of rest instead.