You’ll come across some weird sights if you head down to Marlins Park this spring.
There's rain falling indoors, but perhaps even stranger, a pitcher who leaps like a hunter-gatherer throwing a spear while hurling the ball over the plate.
This is Carter Capps, whose strange pitch delivery has drawn attention from fans and umpires alike as he’s made his way through the minor leagues and into the Marlins bullpen.
Miami called Capps up after losing ace Henderson Alvarez to shoulder inflammation Sunday, and the unconventional pitcher made his 2015 debut during Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Capps pitched one inning, recording one strikeout and allowing zero hits for three batters faced.
Sportscasters began commenting on the righty’s style before his first pitch, mentioning that minor league umpires had recently objected to his leaving the rubber while playing for the New Orleans Zephyrs.
“They just said they wanted me to make sure I dragged my foot and not get too elevated in the air, and make sure it’s more on a lateral plane,” Capps said. “As long as I do that, they have no problem with it. But it was very strange.”
Not to be a foot in Capps’ punch bowl, but his pitching on Monday didn’t exactly feature extensive toe-dragging. There didn't appear to be any toe-dragging, actually. And by launching down the mound, he does chop off a not-immeasurable distance between him and the plate. In a game where batters have fractions of a second to react to the ball, this difference can be significant.
But hey—if it isn’t an infraction, let the man live. I love a goofy pitching style as much as the next guy, and I would like nothing more than to watch game after game of Capps’ E. Honda leap-pitching.
Let’s keep baseball weird, guys.
Dan is on Twitter. He’s all for weird.