Padres reliever Carter Capps has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and will have surgery to treat the condition this offseason, as the club announced Monday. The Padres are hopeful that Capps, 27, will be recovered by spring training.
This news is just the latest development in what’s been an absolutely awful 18-month stretch for Capps. After posting a spectacular 1.16 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 58 strikeouts and seven walks over 31 innings with the Marlins in 2015, Capps had Tommy John surgery in March of 2016. He was dealt to the Padres just before the deadline last year, and after MLB declared his “hop-step” delivery illegal prior to this season, he was faced with the difficult task of trying to alter his delivery while also working his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Due to the complexity of those tasks, Capps spent nearly four months in Triple-A trying to work out his issues before returning to the majors on August 7. He struggled to the tune of a 6.57 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with seven strikeouts and two walks over 12.1 innings before being shut down with blood clots in his arm on September 13.
Jaime Garcia and Chris Young are the two major-league pitchers who have experienced significant success upon their return from the relatively new procedure; other notable pitchers who have struggled to regain their previous success or have yet to return include Matt Harvey, Phil Hughes, Clayton Richard, Tyson Ross, Luke Hochevar, and Nate Karns.