Capuano Scheduled For MRI Thursday, But Calf Injury Appears To Be Minor


The left calf injury that Chris Capuano suffered Tuesday night in his disastrous season debut start against the Padres, doesn’t appear to be serious, and the Dodgers might find themselves breathing a sigh of relief on Wednesday afternoon. The Dodgers will still be practicing caution, and will have Capuano undergo an MRI sometime on Thursday to find out just how bad the severity of his left leg calf strain is. According to manager Don Mattingly, the injury is minor, and Cappy shouldn’t be out longer than a week.

The Dodgers entered the season with three extra starting pitchers under contract, and all without roles on the big club. They have been called, the surplus.

Los Angeles Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone, manager Don Mattingly (8) and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (40) meet with starting pitcher Chris Capuano (35) during the third inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If that is the case, and Cappy’s injury is minor, then the Dodgers have really dodged a bullet. After losing Zack Greinke, trading away Aaron Harang, and Ted Lilly already being on the disabled list, the Dodgers vaunted starting rotation depth has now been zapped before our eyes.

Capuano, who had started the year in the bullpen, had only pitched two innings of relief the entire season so far. Last night, he made his first start of the season, and looked noticeably rusty. He allowed five runs in the first inning to the Padres, and then during the top of the second inning, tripped while covering first base on a grounder, and strained his left calf.

During the top of the second inning, Yonder Alonso hit a grounder that pulled Gonzalez too far off the first base bag. Gonzo had to feed Capuano who was running over to cover the bag. Cappy on the way over there, appeared to have tripped over the bag. After the second frame, Cappy attempted to go back out in the top of the third, and pitch through it. After walking Jesus Guzman, the Dodgers said that as enough, and he was removed. He was replaced in the game by Matt Guerrier. Cappy had wanted to pitch through the pain, but Mattingly decided against it. The Dodgers ended up losing the game to San Diego by a score of 9-2.

Cappy said he tried to tape up the leg, and it appears to be a very mild strain. Cappy told us during postgame interviews, that he actually pulled it as soon as he stepped off the mound to field that grounder. I had originally thought that he pulled it when he tripped over the first base bag, but he had already pulled it.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Chris Capuano (35) pitches in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Capuano went on to describe how he had the same injury about four or five years ago, and it was nothing serious. He said he only ended up missing about a week, and he was fine.

That’s the same way Mattingly described the injury as well during postgame. He described it as very minor, and Cappy is very unlikely to go on the DL. If Capuano is unable to go, then the Dodgers may be forced to use lefty Ted Lilly in his spot. Lilly pitched his third minor league rehab assignment last night in Rancho Cucamonga for the Quakes. He made 81 pitches through five frames, and allowed four runs, while walking one, and whiffing five.

That’s finally some good injury news for a team that desperately needs some. The Dodgers have a scheduled off-day on Thursday before embarking on a six game road-trip to Baltimore, and New York. Mattingly has said that the Dodgers will use the scheduled off days to shuffle the rotation until Capuano recovers. The Dodgers won’t need a fifth starter until April 24, or 27, depending on how Mattingly shuffles his rotation.