Atlanta Braves rookie right-hander Jose Capellan will be making his first major league start—and perhaps auditioning for an extended stay in the rotation during the stretch drive—as the Atlanta Braves try to complete a three-game sweep of the Montreal Expos.
This outing was supposed to a fill-in assignment for Atlanta’s top pitching prospect. However, after Mike Hampton was forced to leave Saturday’s 8-1 win over the Expos with a strained knee, the 23-year old Capellan might be given a chance to take Hampton’s place if he needs to go on the disabled list.
Capellan almost made the Braves as a reliever in spring training, as his fastball reached 100 mph several times. The organization’s decision to keep him in the minors so he could develop his other pitches appears to have paid off, as he went a combined 14-4 with a 2.32 ERA in 24 games at three different levels in Atlanta’s system.
“We’ve been waiting on him a long time,” manager Bobby Cox said. “Now we get to see what he can do.”
Montreal’s Tony Armas Jr., who will oppose Capellan, is still trying to regain the form that made him one of baseball’s most exciting pitching prospects after missed most of 2003 and the first two months this year with a torn rotator cuff.
Armas allowed seven runs in three innings in a 9-1 loss at Chicago on Tuesday.
He has allowed 61 hits in 68 1-3 innings, but walked is still trying to find his command, as he has already walked 41 batters.
Montreal manager Frank Robinson was considering shutting down Armas for the rest of the season. Armas was diagnosed with a strained right elbow in August.
“It’s certainly worth visiting the idea,” Robinson said. “He has a good outing, then the next time it’s like he’s starting over. He’s kind of stubborn and doesn’t always think of his well-being.”