The Tigers’ bullpen is their weakest link, and on Sunday they made their second trade in two weeks for relief help. Detroit acquired Jose Capellan from Milwaukee in exchange for Class A lefthander Chris Cody. On June 20, the Tigers dealt for Macay McBride.
The Big Leaguers
Capellan, a 26-year-old righthander, signed with the Braves out of the Dominican Republic in 1998. He was the key to a December 2004 trade that sent all-star closer Dan Kolb to Atlanta, but the deal didn’t work out like either side had hoped. Capellan had been clocked as high as 100 mph in the Braves system but didn’t throw as hard for the Brewers, even after moving to the bullpen. His fastball sits in the low 90s now, and he’s still trying to come up with a solid second pitch and improve his command. He spent most of this year at Triple-A Nashville, going 3-2, 3.86 in 17 games (three starts) before joining the Brewers. Capellan went 0-2, 4.50 in seven games with Milwaukee, and his big league career record now stands at 5-6, 4.70 in 88 games. He likely will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.
Cody, 23, was a senior sign as an eighth-round pick out of Manhattan in 2006. He’s a finesse lefthander whose competitiveness sticks out a lot more than his stuff. His top pitch is his changeup, and he has a mid-80s fastball and a fringy curveball. He had no trouble in the low Class A Midwest League this spring, going 5-5, 1.97 in 14 starts, along with a 92-15 K-BB ratio, .215 opponent average and one homer allowed in 91 innings. He ranked first in the MWL in strikeouts and second in ERA before a promotion to high Class A Lakeland, where he lost his first start.
Capellan didn’t distinguish himself in Milwaukee, but if he can make some adjustments he could find a home in Detroit. He hasn’t been able to make those adjustments yet, however. Cody is an older pitcher tearing up the lower minors, and has much to prove at the upper levels.