Capuano's long-term goal: Starting again

Capuano's long-term goal: Starting again

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers left-hander Chris Capuano knew that this season would be about reestablishing himself as a Major League pitcher. The next step, he said, is reestablishing himself as a Major League starter.

Capuano did not pitch in the Majors in 2008 or '09 while recovering from his second Tommy John elbow surgery. He worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings Friday for his first win at Miller Park since May '07, and he has a 3.72 ERA in 14 relief appearances. Capuano also has made two starts.

"Eventually, I'd like to get back to being a starter," he said. "That's how I see myself, and I feel like that's what I'm good at."

He will have options this winter. Capuano entered this season with five years, 45 days of Major League service time and was promoted to the big leagues just in time to accrue the six full years he needs to qualify for free agency.

He's one of two longtime Brewers pitchers -- Dave Bush is the other -- who will be first-time free agents.

Capuano was 40-44 with a 4.38 ERA in 111 starts and four relief appearances for the Brewers from 2004-07 before he was injured. He went 18-12 with a 3.99 ERA in '05 and was a National League All-Star in '06.

This season has been about adjusting to relief.

"It's a totally different ballgame, being ready every day and figuring out the routine," Capuano said. "There are a lot of guys down there to learn from, [Trevor] Hoffman probably being the main one. He's a great guy to watch and emulate. It's different. It's a lot different."