Capps named Delivery Man of the Month
Closer converted Major League-best 10 saves in April
WASHINGTON -- Nationals closer Matt Capps has been named Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month for April.
The award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season as voted on by a panel from Major League Baseball.
Capps finished the month with a Major League-best 10 saves, converting each of his save opportunities in 12 games pitched. Capps, 26, posted a 0.68 ERA, struck out 15 batters and held opposing hitters to a .226 batting average in his first month with the Nationals. Capps' success is one of the reasons the team is a surprising 13-12 entering Tuesday's action against the Braves.
After being non-tendered by the Pirates after the 2009 season, some wondered if Capps was healthy after saving 27 games with 5.80 ERA. During the month of April, Capps proved he is 100 percent.
"I feel good now. I feel like the ball is coming out of my hands better than it has in a while," Capps said via telephone. "A lot of credit goes to [pitching coach] Steve McCatty and the things we worked on in Spring Training. But it's only one month. I would call [the season] a good one if I get six of [the awards]."
Capps set a club single-season best and a career-best mark for April saves and consecutive save conversions to begin a season. In addition, Capps registered the second-largest single-month save total in Nationals history (2005-present), behind only Chad Cordero's 15 saves in June 2005.
Other relievers receiving votes included Mariano Rivera of the Yankees, Detroit's Jose Valverde, Boston's Jonathan Papelbon, Minnesota's Jon Rauch and Francisco Cordero of the Reds.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.