Capps' tenure with the Padres has been nothing short of a struggle. Acquired at the 2016 Trade Deadline as part of the deal that sent Andrew Cashner to Miami, Capps wouldn't return from Tommy John surgery until '17. When he did, he was forced to counter a newly instituted rule, which made his hop-step delivery illegal.
"Carter is as good a person and worker as you're ever going to come across," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He works incredibly hard. With the changes he was forced to make mechanically, it just hasn't synched up. As an organization we believe in him, and that's why we outrighted him and kept him in the organization. We believe he can find that."
With Capps off the roster, the Padres have space to add at least one non-roster player to their Opening Day squad. It's highly likely they add more than that, and they'd be able to clear further space by placing Alex Dickerson (UCL sprain), Allen Cordoba (concussion) and Colin Rea (lat strain) on the 60-day DL.
Capps spent most of the 2017 season pitching in the Minors, where he posted a 2.60 ERA over 26 outings. But he slumped to a 6.57 ERA in 11 appearances with the big league club. In 4 2/3 innings this spring, Capps allowed four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
It's a stark contrast to the version of Capps that posted a 1.16 ERA over 31 innings for Miami in 2015. Then again, Capps' delivery has undergone a complete overhaul. The Padres are quick to point out that Capps is still evolving within his new mechanics.
"If he finds that, there's hardly anybody in our bullpen with the ceiling he possesses," Green said. "So we definitely wanted him as a part of our organization."