Doctors believe thoracic outlet syndrome, the compression of nerves and blood vessels in the upper chest area, caused the blood clot that ended Capps’ season earlier this month. Assuming Capps does undergo the surgery, he could resume pitching again next spring.
Capps, formerly a dominant arm in the Miami Marlins’ bullpen, made a long-awaited return to the majors in August after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2016. The right-hander made 11 appearances with the Padres, posting a 6.57 ERA, before experiencing pain in the right side of his torso on Sept. 11.
Capps was subsequently diagnosed with the blood clot, and the Padres immediately placed on the 60-day disabled list. He has since visited with various medical specialists, leading to the latest diagnosis.
“That was pressing on his artery there, it was causing that clot,” Green said. “They think that might be the best way to handle him moving forward.”
Former Padres right-hander Tyson Ross underwent thoracic outlet surgery last October. Ross, who was non-tendered by the Padres after the surgery, signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers before this season. He struggled, going from starting to relieving, before being released this month.
Ross missed nearly all of 2016 due to shoulder trouble.
“I think (Capps’) procedure won’t be quite as invasive as Tyson’s was,” Green said. “The shoulder is solid, his health from a throwing perspective is very good. You would think his road back would be quicker. I think every expectation is he would be ready to pitch in spring training next year.”
Clayton Richard, another Padres pitcher, had the same procedure before the 2014 season and did not pitch in the majors that year. The lefty returned in 2015 and has been durable since. The Padres signed Richard to a two-year extension last week.
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