A look back at the 2013 season of Chris Capuano, which was at times good and at times bad, with very little in between.
What went right
When Capuano was on, he was outstanding. He had eight starts in which he allowed zero or one run (not counting his five-out start on Sept. 6 in Cincinnati that was cut short with a groin injury). In those eight starts Capuano had 45 strikeouts and just three walks in 51 innings.
Much was made of Clayton Kershaw's start on three days rest in the NLDS, and rightfully so. But back on June 23 in San Diego, Capuano did the same with five scoreless innings against the Padres in just his second start back from the disabled list. In that game, Capuano K'd FCQ for his 1,000th career strikeout:
After missing three weeks in September, Capuano proved he was healthy during the final weekend of the regular season, then pitched three scoreless innings in relief against the Braves in the playoffs, winning Game 3 of the NLDS in his first playoff appearance.
Left-handed batters were held to hitting just .248/.274/.292 with no home runs in 118 plate appearances against Capuano in 2013.
What went wrong
Capuano was really Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 2013, with very little in between his very good and very bad starts. He had seven starts in which he allowed at least five runs, and the feat-or-famine nature of his season was never more evident than a stretch of nine consecutive starts from June 19 to Aug. 4 in which he allowed either zero or five earned runs.
After a relatively healthy 2012 season that saw Capuano pitch 198⅓ innings and tied for the National League lead with 33 starts, he was limited to 20 starts, four relief appearances and 105⅔ innings in 2013. Capuano was sidelined on the disabled list with a left calf strain in April and May, and again on the DL with a lat strain in June. The only reason Capuano didn't spend a third stint on the DL with his September groin strain was because the active roster limits were expanded to 40 players and there was no reason to make roster room.
Capuano was blasted by right-handed batters this season, as they hit .312/.350/.508 with 11 home runs and 24 doubles in 339 plate appearances.
Capuano, 35, has a mutual option for 2014 worth $8 million, though the Dodgers are very likely to decline it and instead pay him a $1 million buyout. We should find out a resolution on his status within the next few days.