SEATTLE, WASH. – Mount Olive College All-American pitcher Carter Capps has been called up to the Seattle Mariners, it was announced Tuesday by the Mariners. Capps, the Mariners' third round selection in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft, was in uniform for Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Capps becomes only the second player from the 2011 MLB Draft to make it to the Major League.
"It was pretty incredible," Capps said in an article by Greg Johns of MLB.com. "I was pretty shocked for a while. I thought somebody was messing with me at first, but luckily they weren't. This is what you want to play for when you're a little kid. It's definitely a dream come true. This [stadium] is a lot taller than I thought it was. There's a lot of seats in here. You don't really realize when you're watching on TV how big it is. This is nice."
Capps flew into Seattle Tuesday from Tucson, Ariz., where he made his Triple-A debut for the Tacoma Rainiers. Capps entered the game in the eighth inning with a runner on base and nobody out with Tacoma leading 10-8. He retired the next three batters in order and retired the leadoff batter in the ninth before giving way to another reliever. Capps struck out three of the four batters he faced and threw 15 of his 19 pitches for strikes. Tacoma used a nine-run sixth inning to rally from an 8-0 deficit for an 11-8 win.
Capps had been promoted from Double-A Jackson (Tenn.) late last week. He was called up to the Majors after his lone Triple-A appearance.
In addition to Capps, the Mariners recalled fellow reliever Stephen Pryor from Tacoma. Both Capps and Pryor began this season at Jackson.
"They're both available to be down in the bullpen tonight," Mariners manager Eric Wedge told MLB.com. "They've both earned the right to be here."
Capps becomes the second Mount Olive College baseball alum to get called up to the Majors. Steve Mintz was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1990 Draft and had two Major League stints, in 1995 with the San Francisco Giants and in 1999 with the Anaheim Angels. Mintz is currently on the Minnesota Twins coaching staff.
At Mount Olive, Capps was the 2011 ABCA Division II Player of the Year and was the consensus Division II Pitcher of the Year. Capps set an NCAA Division II record with 24 consecutive wins. He posted a 10-0 record in 2010 and a 14-1 mark in 2011. He tossed the first-ever nine-inning no-hitter in Trojan history, March 12, 2011 vs. Coker.
In addition to being named a consensus first team All-American in 2011, Capps was also named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America First Team.
A starter at Mount Olive, Capps has been a closer since being assigned to Advanced A Clinton (Iowa) last summer. This season at Jackson, Capps posted a 2-3 record with 19 saves and a 1.26 earned run average in 38 appearances, all in relief. He recorded 72 strikeouts and only 12 walks in exactly 50 innings pitched. Capps closed the 2012 Southern League All-Star Game for the North All-Star Team.
In his final appearance for Jackson, Capps struck out two in a scoreless inning for his 19th save in Jackson's 5-2 win over Montgomery July 26.
"He's done a fantastic job in the Minor Leagues," Wedge said. "We felt this was a good opportunity to get him up here. He has a good arm, has some deception with his delivery, just good stuff for a young pitcher."
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