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Can Chris Capuano still pitch himself into Dodgers' postseason plans?

September 28, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Left-hander Chris Capuano looked sharp pitching for the first time since Sept. 6 in the Dodgers' 11-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday.
Left-hander Chris Capuano looked sharp pitching for the first time since… (Joe Robbins / Getty Images )

One inning doesn’t figure to change much in the Dodgers’ overall postseason plans. Still, that was a pretty interesting inning left-hander Chris Capuano threw Friday night.

Pitching for the first time since Sept. 6 when he suffered a mild groin strain, Capuano looked very sharp, retiring the Rockies in order with two strikeouts. He needed only 12 pitches, nine that went for strikes.

It’s an awfully late push for a bullpen role, particularly for a career starter who hasn’t really pitched in relief since returning from Tommy John surgery in 2010.

The Dodgers already have two left-handed relievers in Paco Rodriguez and J.P. Howell. But at least Capuano has worked himself into the fringes of the postseason picture.

“The playoffs, all bets are off,” Capuano said. “You just do whatever you have to do to contribute. My main goal was to be healthy at the end of the year and at least be an option. Whatever they decide to do, there’s a lot of good guys competing for those last couple of spots.

“At least I feel healthy and good. That was the main goal. You don’t want to finish the year on the DL or with an injury.”

Capuano came out of Friday’s game without suffering any setbacks and Manager Don Mattingly said he hoped to use Capuano again in Sunday’s regular-season finale.

“If we weren’t thinking about him we wouldn’t have tried to push him to get him back,” Mattingly said. “Another lefty is a value. It allows you to match up more.”

Candidates for the final bullpen position are plentiful. Kenley Jansen, Ronald Belisario, Rodriguez, Howell and Brian Wilson are locks to make the roster, and it would be difficult to leave off Chris Withrow.

That would leave Brandon League, Carlos Marmol, Stephen Fife, Edison Volquez and Capuano all competing for the final pitching spot on the roster.

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