CHICAGO -- Chris Capuano, signed to be the Dodgers fifth starter, leads the club in wins and strikeouts and has credited a newly developed breaking ball for adding to his effectiveness.
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said he and Minor League pitching coach Glenn Dishman had a discussion with Capuano during Spring Training about pitching philosophy and mentioned he never threw a curveball, sticking with a cutter and slider. The coaches demonstrated a grip to try, Capuano tried it and has stuck with it.
"He's using it as a backdoor curveball and because he's commanding it, it gives him an easy strike to get back in the count," said Honeycutt. "It's got a different break and he uses it against righties and certain left-handers.
"It gives him the outer half of the plate. I think if he can get strike-one and the hitter hasn't seen [his] best stuff yet, that's a pretty good start. Maybe he threw only eight to 10 of them yesterday, but he's getting a high percentage of strikes with it, [they're] not putting it in play."
Of the Dodgers' three left-handed starting pitchers, Capuano is 4-0, Ted Lilly is 3-0 and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw is 2-0.
"Kershaw has been our shaky lefty," joked manager Don Mattingly.