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Capuano with Brewers for first time since ’07

May 29, 2010

MILWAUKEE — Three seasons since his last Major League appearance, lefty Chris Capuano rejoined the Brewers on Saturday at Miller Park.

Capuano — whose contract was purchased Friday night from Triple-A Nashville — hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since his last start of the 2007 season and has been rehabbing the second Tommy John surgery of his career. After seven Minor League starts, Capuano has finally made it back to the Majors.

“It feels good to be back,” Capuano said. “Last night, when they took me out of the game in the fourth inning there, I had a pretty good idea that I was getting called up. I called my wife, called my family, and everyone was pretty excited. It’s definitely been a good day.”

Before being called up Friday night, Capuano made his fourth start for the Nashville Sounds, throwing four scoreless innings while giving up just one hit.

When asked about it before Saturday’s game, manager Ken Macha explained the thought process behind removing Capuano from the game after throwing just 59 pitches.

“You’ve got to make a decision, if he goes 100 pitches then he’s not going to be available for quite a while,” Macha said. “With the [59] pitches, he probably just needs a couple days off and may be available out of the [bullpen].”

Brewers officials announced the move after Friday’s 2-0 victory over the Mets. With Capuano being called up, the club designated right-handed reliever Claudio Vargas for assignment, making a spot available for Capuano on both the 25- and 40-man rosters.

Capuano found out that he would be rejoining the Brewers shortly after being removed from Friday night’s game. Now that he’s arrived back in Milwaukee, Capuano found that he was more surprised by the lack of emotion involved with the end of his journey back to the big leagues.

“Maybe I thought that there was going to be more emotions than I think I actually feel,” Capuano said. “When you get here, you go through your routine, you’re out there playing catch, and it feels natural because this is what we do. It’s just good to be here and playing catch and getting back in touch with some of my old friends.”

When asked if he ever doubted he would return, Capuano admitted there were some “testing, trying times,” but credited his family, friends and all those who played a role in his return for keeping him on the right track.

Since making his last start for the Brewers on Sept. 28, 2007, Capuano said he has learned an important lesson about himself.

“I learned how much I actually like baseball,” Capuano said. “You get back to going through the grind of the rehab and then when you actually get back to playing, especially when you get back to ‘A’ ball and play with some of those younger guys, it’s just a different enthusiasm for the game. I think the longer I’m in the game, the more I appreciate it.

“Being away for two years and then stepping back on that field and playing again, a lot of stuff feels new again. I think it’s been a good thing for me.”

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