March 24, 2008

Brewers To Continue Without Capuano

Milwaukee LHP Chris Capuano tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow during the Brewers’ spring training game against the Seattle Mariners a week ago, and was told yesterday that he will probably need Tommy John surgery.

Whether he has the surgery or not, Capuano is unlikely to pitch at all this season. Capuano previously had Tommy John surgery in 2002 while he was a Diamondbacks farmhand, and it took him 11 months to return from that one. However, considering that Capuano lost his last 12 decisions last season and pitched in 18 consecutive Brewers losses before being demoted to the bullpen, this may not be as serious a loss for the Brew Crew as it sounds.

Currently, right-handers Ben Sheets and Jeff Suppan are locks for the rotation, with right-handers Dave Bush, Claudio Vargas, and Carlos Villanueva competing with southpaw Manny Parra for the remaining three spots. Yovani Gallardo, also a right-hander, had been in the mix earlier in the spring, but was lost to a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery and is not expected back until April. That injury could have opened the door for Capuano to return to the rotation, but now, of course, that’s out of the question.

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