Capps trade a striking upgrade for Twins

Matt Capps v. Jon Rauch

The Twins went from one former Nationals reliever to another for their closer role, acquiring Matt Capps from the Nationals on Thursday. Both pitchers have more than 20 saves, but Capps’ stats show he gets more strikeouts, more swings and misses and more batters to go out of the strike zone. Also, almost half of the balls put in play against Capps are grounders, a much better rate than Rauch.

Matt Capps vs. Jon Rauch

Capps’ First Pitch Importance

Like most pitchers, Matt Capps sets the tone of the at-bat with his first pitch. Unlike most pitchers, he’s usually better off if it’s a ball. Hitters are actually performing worse against Capps this season when he starts them off by missing the strike zone.

Matt Capps: First pitch and at-bat results