If all goes according to plan, Chris Capuano figures to be the fifth starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. If he pitches like he has so far this spring, the Dodgers starting rotation could be strong. It's still early of course, but there were signs of encouragement in Capuano's Cactus League debut on Thursday afternoon in a 7-2 Dodgers win over the Oakland Athletics.
Capuano pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out three of the eight men he faced. This follows up a strong performance last Sunday in an intrasquad game in which Capuano struck out two in two scoreless innings while not allowing a hit to Dodgers minor leaguers.
"Getting the body used to how rigorous it is to throw to hitters, you don't realize. You can throw 10 bullpens and not be sure, but as soon you throw an inning or two to live hitters, you're body is a little extra sore," Capuano said earlier in the week. This is the first spring he has been fully healthy in some time, after missing all of 2008 and 2009 and part of 2010 while recovering from surgeries. The more distance he has from his Tommy John surgery, the better.
"The last two offseasons have been normal in terms of being able to train as much as I want to with no restrictions," Capuano said. "Really the last two offseasons from the throwing, the lifting, and working out standpoint, have been great, with no issues."
Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers on Friday as they battle the Texas Rangers in Surprise.
For more news and notes on Dodgers spring training, be sure to read True Blue LA.