Monday night at Turner Field in Atlanta, Miami Marlins pitcher Carter Capps showed the Braves his own version of the bunny hop, in which he jumps off the rubber while delivering pitches. The move allows Capps to release the pitch nearly at the edge of the pitcher’s mound, making the throw much shorter than the usual distance.
Wait, what? pic.twitter.com/nHMI3LAs94
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 14, 2015
Miami recalled Capps from the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans on Monday. Last Thursday, pitching for New Orleans, his first two pitches were ruled illegal by the home plate umpire, who called them automatic balls. Because changing his delivery could injure him, Capps was told to walk the batter intentionally, after which he was removed from the game. The next day, the Marlins contacted MLB, which deemed that the hop created a problem insofar as it gave him extra elevation when he delivered the pitch, and instructed him to take a lower hop.
Capps said, “They just said they wanted me to make sure I dragged my foot and not get too elevated in the air, and make sure it’s more on a lateral plane. As long as I do that, they have no problem with it. But it was very strange.” He added, “It doesn’t look pretty, obviously. But that’s the first time anybody had a blatant problem with it. They didn’t want me to get too much elevation. They understand I’m going to come off the rubber, but they wanted me to drag my toe a little bit more. I’m going to try to do that.”
In 2012, Capps came under the microscope when it was estimated his delivery point was roughly four feet behind right-handed batters.