Pirates Notebook: Capps has minor elbow trouble
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The Pirates will be without closer Matt Capps until the weekend because of minor discomfort in his right elbow, and all concerned sound relieved that the injury is not worse.
"Unbelievably relieved," Capps said.
Capps has a bruised bone just above the elbow, one that has trapped some blood flow, according to an MRI taken yesterday at Allegheny General Hospital and an examination by Dr. Patrick DeMeo, the team physician. He was instructed to rest for three days, and his plan is to throw on the side Thursday in St. Louis and be available to pitch Friday in New York.
The MRI showed no ligament or other structural damage, of a pitcher's greatest fear when elbow pain occurs. In fact, the ligaments were deteremined to be in excellent shape by DeMeo.
An anti-inflammatory shot was administered into the left shoulder -- his return would have been delayed with a shot to the elbow -- and he likely will need to continue taking such shots the rest of the season.
"From how worried I was before to now, it's a huge swing," Capps said. "This probably was as good a scenario as you could have."
Capps first felt discomfort Saturday night, after he gave up two runs on five hits. It was his first outing in eight days because of a lack of save situations.
He had treatment in the two days after that, but he gave up four runs on three hits and a walk in blowing his first save Monday night, an excruciating effort that required 36 pitches. Afterward, when he took off his shirt, the elbow locked and, according to Capps, "it felt like a knife going through there."
His fastball reached at his standard 93-95 mph in both outings.
"The velocity was still there, so that's a good sign," manager John Russell said. "But you don't want someone pitching through elbow irritation, so this is the best way to go."
John Grabow and Tyler Yates will share closer duties in the interim, Russell said.
Capps, five for six in save situations, has a 7.56 ERA.
Shortstop Jack Wilson will be assigned to Class AAA Indianapolis Saturday for a three-game rehabilitation stint, all in Syracuse, N.Y. If all goes well, he will rejoin the Pirates' lineup Tuesday.
Wilson is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Sunday, but the Pirates are off Monday and apparently would prefer that he uses that day for the rehab. The Indianapolis-Syracuse series concludes Monday afternoon.
Wilson, out because of a sprained finger on his left hand, took ground balls and had his first outdoor batting practice yesterday.
• Grabow, scored upon in four consecutive appearances, dismissed it as a bad stretch: "I'm still making my pitches, and the changeup's still working, but I'm just not getting the results."
• The Pirates will miss New York ace Johan Santana this weekend. The Mets' rotation is Ken Takahashi, John Maine and Livan Hernandez.
• Left-hander Tony Watson, Class AA Altoona's opening-day starter, was placed on the minor league disabled list with left elbow tendinitis. He is 0-3 with an 8.22 ERA.
First Published May 6, 2009 12:00 am