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Capps returns from Tommy John surgery

March 27, 2017

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres flamethrower Carter Capps felt the nerves during the seventh inning of Monday afternoon's 12-2 victory over the Mariners. It had been a while since he took a Major League mound, after all.How long exactly? Well, the last out he recorded in a big league game came

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres flamethrower Carter Capps felt the nerves during the seventh inning of Monday afternoon's 12-2 victory over the Mariners. It had been a while since he took a Major League mound, after all.
How long exactly? Well, the last out he recorded in a big league game came on Aug. 2, 2015. Capps, then with the Marlins, struck out Padres center fielder Will Venable, before exiting that outing two batters later with elbow stiffness.
Fast forward 19 months: Capps, who underwent Tommy John surgery last March and was subsequently dealt to San Diego in July, entered a game for the first time in a Padres uniform on Monday. He recorded only one out, while allowing a run on two hits and two walks. Still, he came away pleased with his return.
"It felt really good, obviously way different than throwing bullpens or throwing on back fields, so that was really exciting," Capps said. "I actually felt really good. Obviously the results weren't exactly what I wanted."
Capps -- whose 94-mph fastball was a couple ticks below its 2015 levels -- remains hopeful he will be ready by Opening Day. But with only a week remaining until the opener at Dodger Stadium, the Padres may elect to give him a few extra rehab appearances to build his strength.
"That's the powers that be's decision," Capps said. "Obviously, that's still my goal. I feel like I'm still really close to getting where I want to be. I'd like to get another outing or two in. We'll see what the plan is. Hopefully get back out there soon, throw some more strikes and be ready to go."

The 26-year-old is perhaps best known for his quirky hop-step delivery. He burst onto the scene in 2015, posting a 1.16 ERA over 31 innings while striking out 58.
It's worth noting that Monday marked Capps' first appearance in a game situation since Major League Baseball's rule change to establish the parameters of a legal pitching motion. The Padres didn't foresee any issues with Capps' delivery -- and evidently there were none.
Capps allowed two seeing-eye singles before inducing a lineout to center. He walked the next two hitters and was removed after 23 pitches.
"The nerves were good," Capps said. "Obviously, I've been there a little bit and done it. But it was still somewhere between Opening Day and a normal game. ... It was fun."

Weaver efficient in back-field outing
Right-hander Jered Weaver threw 5 2/3 innings on a Padres back field on Monday, as he attempts to put his annual dead-arm phase behind him. He allowed two runs on six hits, while throwing 68 pitches (47 strikes).
Weaver was roughed up in his most recent start, recording just two outs against the Royals last Wednesday. In order to make certain he got his pitch count up, the Friars decided his next outing would come in a back-field game.
The 34-year-old won't make another Cactus League appearance. His next scheduled turn in the rotation comes on Sunday -- an off-day before the season begins. It's unclear whether he'll appear in a simulated game of some sort.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.