One question among many: Capps as the closer again?

Twins GM Terry Ryan took on that hot potato and more in a talk with his best customers.


Matt Capps

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Twins GM Terry Ryan was prepared to be asked about Matt Capps. He knows what stirs in fans when the name Matt Capps is uttered. Inevitably, someone was going to ask about Matt Capps.

Halfway through his telephone chat with season ticket holders and group organizers on Thursday, it happened.

"Are you going to re-sign Matt Capps?" the fan asked, "and if so, why, with his dismal record last year?" Ryan responded: "I was wondering when this one was coming."

Ryan faced the fans on Thursday during an hour-long session during which he fielded questions on many topics. This one was about Capps, who posted a 4.25 ERA and saved only 15 games because he was given, then lost, the closer's role during last season.

The Twins, however, admired how Capps fought through injuries and are willing to bring him back to prove he can be a top closer.

"He had a very good year in 2010," Ryan said. "Relievers very often have those cycles. One year on, one year off. We lived it with Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier. We had it with LaTroy Hawkins, Eddie Guardado. In our organization, we believe Matt Capps will bounce back."

At one point, moderator Dick Bremer announced that more than 3,000 people were listening to the chat. Ryan kept fielding questions.

One fan wanted a big-picture look at the team. "What lessons were learned in the 1990s that hopefully keeps this [losing] cycle to one or two or three years of a downturn?" he asked.

Ryan hopes the downturn doesn't go past one year.

"We did have some successful drafts," Ryan said. "We did have a pretty good flow. We usually had pretty good depth. We had some things to work with. We lost a Torii Hunter and a Johan Santana, and we still found a way to win. Most of it came from within.

"We have to make sure we are drafting and signing and in the international world. We have a little more depth in that minor league system than meets the eye. It might not be the greatest at Triple-A, but Double-A and A-ball and the rookie clubs we're OK. We need to develop that talent and get it up there as soon as we can."

Another fan wondered how Ryan would approach drafting.

"We pick two," Ryan said of their spot in the first round. "That's a lofty experience. You don't want to mess that one up. We need to come out with an elite player, an All-Star-caliber player. The last time we picked this high we picked [Joe] Mauer in 2001."

On the Twins catcher: "When Mauer is healthy, we anticipate him catching 120 to 130 games. We signed [Ryan] Doumit from Pittsburgh. He's got some life in his bat. This will allow us to possibly DH Mauer when we want to rest him from catching."

On the team's plans for a designated hitter: "That's a fair question right now and that may be a little bit by design. We're starting to make sure we protect these guys right now because our health is in question until we get to Fort Myers. I think once the winter turns into spring, you will see us in a situation where we've got a guy for that position. Once you get this outfield situated, we've got some opportunities to bring in a guy who can DH."

On Kevin Slowey's poor season: "He didn't have the type of year he, or us, wanted. It did not go well. I'm going to end up having to clean the slate here."

On finding a "blue-chip pitcher" to start: "Almost every club wants that [CC] Sabathia they can lead the playoffs off with. Or [Justin] Verlander. We're no different. We had one in Santana ... and we didn't win [then]. It's a little bit dicey. You can go get those guys. Santana is making $23 million a year. That's what those types of pitchers cost. You are better off trying to develop them."

Near the end, one fan asked about signing Jamey Carroll.

"He's like 38 years old," he said. "Why pay all this money for this guy who's at the end of his career?" Ryan: "There are some scouts who would disagree with you."

Note: The Twins are interested in signing lefthanded starter Chris Capuano, 33, who won 18 games in 2005 with Milwaukee but endured two Tommy John elbow surgeries before going 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA with the Mets last season.

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NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles - LP: J. Wright 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 3
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: Y. Herrera 2
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 6:00 PM
SMU 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Portland 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
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