Capps likely to stay off disabled list
Bucs closer throws Wednesday after scary injury Monday
CHICAGO -- Matt Capps made about 25 throws from 120 feet on Wednesday morning, an encouraging step forward for the closer who was struck on his right elbow by a line drive on Monday.
"I felt pretty good," said Capps, who suffered a serious bruise, but no fracture, where he was struck. "I was a little sore getting going, but once I got going, everything was alright. No pain right now."
Capps will continue getting treatment on his elbow, and depending on how he feels in the next 24 hours, manager John Russell said there is a possibility that Capps could be able to throw a side session off the mound as early as Thursday.
"He came in today and the range of motion was better," Russell said. "We just want to continue to keep it moving and keep the blood circulating. He went out and played catch and felt pretty good."
With Capps already resuming throwing, a stint on the disabled list now seems highly unlikely. However, a timetable for Capps' return into games has still not been determined. When asked if Capps would be ready for the Pirates' series against Houston this week, Russell remained non-committal, instead suggesting that the team might err on the cautious side and give Capps a bit longer to heal.
"We don't want to be overly aggressive or excited about it because it was a major blow," Russell said. "We're going to take it one step at a time. We felt he was good enough to go out and play some catch. That's a great sign. We'll see how he is [on Thursday]."
Capps isn't the Pirates' only reliever currently on the mend. Right-hander Tyler Yates, who is on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, flew back to Pittsburgh on Tuesday for further tests on his arm. Nothing concerning was found in this latest round of exams, and Yates has been cleared to return to long toss.
The fact that Yates has yet to throw off the mound, though, makes it highly unlikely that he'll be ready to come off the DL when he's eligible on Sunday. He is expected to play catch on Wednesday and Thursday before the Pirates determine his timetable back.
Right-hander Craig Hansen is currently in Pittsburgh, where he will have another group of tests on Wednesday to see if the doctors can determine the source of his neck and back spasms. The club was expected to have more information on the results of those tests later Wednesday afternoon, after which Hansen's rehab progression will be set.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.