Chris Capuano has started 221 games (and appeared in relief in 57 other games) since 2003. Over that time, he has pitched in 35 ballparks and pitched against 29 of 30 Major League teams. That 30th team is the Kansas City Royals.
Today, Chris Capuano's long journey of not pitching against the Kansas City Royals ends. How does a pitcher pitch 1365 innings and not face one of the 30 teams?
First things first, Chris Capuano has pitched 238 of his 278 games in the National League. He didn't venture into the American League until 2014. That helps him in his journey of avoiding Kansas City.
Capuano played for the Diamondbacks in 2003, the Brewers from 2004 to 2007 and again in 2010, the Mets in 2011, The Dodgers in 2012 and 2013, The Red Sox for 28 games in 2014 and the Yankees for 12 games in 2014.
The Royals didn't play the Brewers in 2004, 2005, or 2010. The Royals didn't play the Mets in 2011. The Royals didn't play the Dodgers in 2012 or 2013. The only seasons that Capuano could have faced the Royals were 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2014.
Capuano was a rookie in 2003, he debuted in May, got demoted to the Minors a few weeks later. The Diamondbacks played the Royals in June, but the final game of the series was postponed due to rain. Fortunately for Capuano, he started on September 2nd, helping him to avoid the nationally awaited September 4th, 2003 clash between the Royals and Diamondbacks. After the 2003 season, Capuano was traded as part of an 8 player deal from Arizona to Milwaukee. At the time, the marquee player in that deal was Richie Sexson, who played 23 games for Arizona, and didn't play after May 22nd due to injuring his shoulder checking his swing. The Diamondbacks finished 51-111. Chris Capuano started his 4 year run under the managerial guidance of Ned Yost.
Anyways.. back in 2006, Chris Capuano hummed along through May and into June. He, by pure coincidence I'm sure, pitched on June 21st and June 26th of that season. The Royals played Milwaukee on June 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Close call. But Capuano narrowly avoided facing a juggernaut Royals team that amassed 2 of their 62 wins against the 2006 Brewers.
The next season, MLB scheduled the Royals to play in Milwaukee. As the series approached on June 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, Chris Capuano strained his groin and remained on the Disabled list until July 3rd. Another year and another successful avoidance of Kansas City. The Brewers won Capuano's first 7 starts as they started the season 22-10. They lost Capuano's final 18 starts (and 4 relief appearances) of 2007.
After 2007, Capuano missed 2008 and 2009 due to Tommy John Surgery. He didn't face the Royals, or any other team, during those seasons. He first hit free agency after the 2008 season, then after 2009, and after 2010, and after 2011. Each time he signed with a National League team that didn't face the Kansas City Royals.
"Catch me if you can."
But his luck ran out in February 2014. Due to a lack of being signed by a National League team, Chris Capuano was forced to enter the American League. He pitched out of Boston's bullpen until late June when he was designated for assignment. The Red Sox played the Royals in mid-July, rendering the timing of Capuano's departure to be convenient. Capuano landed again in the National League, pitching in the minors with Colorado.
As a member of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Capuano eased the terms of his unofficial boycott and faced the Omaha Storm Chasers on July 5th, 2014. Pitching 4 innings, allowing 2 hits (a bunt single by Whit Merrifield and a Brian Bocock single) and striking out 2 (Johnny Giavotella and Matt Fields). Capuano faced Paulo Orlando once and Paulo grounded out. He had made it through the Royals AAA team without harm.
Capuano ended up in AA on July 15th, 2014 for some reason, pitching for the Tulsa Drillers against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Capuano pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing 1 run, striking out 7, walking 2 and conceding 4 hits. Both times he didn't pitch long enough to get a win but long enough to presumably renew his hesitance to face the Royals. If the Royals minor leaguers could do these things to Capuano, the Major Leaguers would most surely surpass those achievements.
After making these starts, Chris Capuano's contract was sold to the New York Yankees, a team due to face Kansas City four more times. Capuano pitched for New York on August 24th, a day before New York played in Kansas City for a makeup game of a June rainout. Capuano pitched for New York on September 4th, a day before New York hosted the Royals. The game of cat and mouse intensified through 2014 but ultimately Capuano avoided Kansas City.
Over the last offseason, Chris Capuano pitched in the MLB/Japan All-Star series on a team with Jeremy Guthrie, Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar and Erik Kratz. Capuano's good performance in the series inspired rumors of his impending departure to pitch for a team in Japan. Instead Capuano re-signed with the Yankees. He spent the first month and a half on the disabled list.
But you can't run forever. After 12 years of dodging, Chris Capuano is due to face the Kansas City Royals.
The preceding is not intended to be taken 100% seriously. Obviously Chris Capuano does not have an elaborate plan to avoid pitching against the Kansas City Royals. Sorry Facebook.
Here's a brief preview of Chris Capuano: Last year as a starting pitcher, Chris Capuano threw a sinker 38% of the time (averaging 89.8mph), along with a changeup 32% of the time (avg 78.6mph), slider 22% of the time (avg 82.1mph) and a curveball 8% of the time (avg 75.6mph). He throws his changeup more to RH batters and throws sinkers when behind in the count to LH batters. Capuano is a lefty that doesn't throw hard, he is therefore a crafty lefty. His only 2015 pitching time has come in rehabbing and honing his craftiness in the Minor Leagues.
The only Royals players to have ever faced Chris Capuano in a Major League game are Omar Infante (7 for 18, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 homers), Kendrys Morales (0 for 3) and Chris Young (0 for 1).
It should be noted that 7 Royals hitters have never played for another team. The other 3 are Drew Butera, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar. Cain and Escobar were teammates of Chris Capuano on the 2010 Brewers. Cain and Escobar hit around the 6/7/8 spots of the Brewers order during Capuano's starts.
29 12 years to see the Royals face Chris Capuano. Buckle Up.