May 26: Pirates (21-24) @ Cubs (21-22); Capps not throwing, but no DL yet

“It could have been a whole lot worse.”

Those were the first words from closer Matt Capps when I saw him in the clubhouse this afternoon. And indeed, it could have been worse. X-rays on Capps’ right elbow came back negative (no fracture), and for now, the Pirates are holding off on putting Capps on the disabled list.

When might he be able to throw again?

“I don’t know,” Capps said. “I’m pretty sore right now. There is no way I could play catch today. I don’t know if I could play catch tomorrow. Who knows? We’ve done a good job of icing it and keeping the inflammation down, so hopefully when I come out tomorrow the range of motion will be better and I’ll be able to pick up a ball.”

Manager John Russell suggested that it might be on Friday when the Pirates decide if Capps is going to have to go on the DL. The hope is that the bullpen can get through these next two games with just six relievers, and then there is the off-day on Thursday. Come Friday, though, if it looks like Capps is still a while from returning, the Pirates are likely going to have to bring someone up to take his spot in the ‘pen.

Capps is still scheduled to meet with the Cubs’ orthopedic surgeon sometime before Tuesday’s game.

It was a pretty scary incident to witness, and as Capps showed pictures of what his elbow looked liked yesterday — you could see the seam marks branded onto his arm — his initial thought was that the prognosis would be much worse.

“My elbow didn’t hurt me until I got in [the clubhouse],” Capps explained. “I just had a shooting pain going down my forearm and then my ring finger and my pinkie finger. It hurt and tingled. By the time I got in here, they were completely numb. I couldn’t feel them at all. And my elbow was starting to hurt. When it first happened, it sounded like a shotgun going off beside me. I thought my elbow was just blown up.”

***

With Capps out, closing duties will likely fall on left-hander John Grabow. That’s not a definitive, though, as Russell said he’ll use Grabow in the eighth if he feels he has to and then figure out how to piece together the ninth from there.

If Russell needs a right-hander, Jesse Chavez would seem to be the most likely candidate, with Tyler Yates still on the DL.

***

The Pirates moved up batting practice about an hour to try and get it in before the rain started. Just as the team took the field, though, the skies opened up just enough for the grounds crew to pull the tarp back onto the field. It looks like we were in for on-and-off rain all night, but from the looks of it, this game should (eventually) get played.

***

No word yet on Craig Hansen, who apparently had the tests on his back/neck today as opposed to on Monday, as we were originially told. That said, it might not be until Wednesday before we get word on what’s next for him.

Boy, the bullpen sure is beat up…

***

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Craig Monroe (RF)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Ian Snell (RHP)

Cubs lineup:

  1. Alfonso Soriano (LF)
  2. Ryan Theriot (SS)
  3. Kosuke Fukodome (CF)
  4. Milton Bradley (RF)
  5. Micah Hoffpauir (1B)
  6. Mike Fontenot (2B)
  7. Koyie Hill (C)
  8. Ryan Freel (3B)
  9. Sean Marshall (LHP)

1 Comment

Man, Snell is sure making it hard to root for him.

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