Tag:Brandon Webb
Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:32 pm
 

10 teams talking to Webb

Brandon Webb Add the Pirates to the teams interested in former Cy Young Award-winner Brandon Webb.

Webb's agent, Jonathan Maurer, tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 's Dejan Kovacevic that the Pirates are "one of a number of teams that are interested."

CBSSports.com has learned as many as 10 teams have expressed interest in Webb. Reports have tied the Nationals and Cubs to Webb, while the Rangers, Rockies and Twins are among other suitors.

Webb, 31, won the Cy Young in 2006, but hasn't pitched since opening day of 2009, when he suffered a shoulder injury.

Webb pitched for the Diamondbacks in an instructional league game in October, throwing in front of a reported 21 teams. He topped out at 85 mph in that outing, but Maurer said his client was "about 75-80 percent of his usual strength."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 5, 2010 2:41 pm
 

Nats interested in Webb

Brandon Webb There's been a lot of talk about the Nationals being a "spoiler" in the Cliff Lee race, but he may not be the only former Cy Young-winner Washington is targeting. The other? Brandon Webb.

Webb, 31, has been unimpressive in his return from Tommy John surgery and just the other day, the Diamondbacks put out a "thanks for playing, now please clean out your desk" press release about Webb .

The Washington Post 's Adam Kilgore quotes a source as saying there will be "a lot of interest in both sides."

Webb hasn't pitched in the majors since opening day of 2009, but he did make a couple of rehab starts in the instructional league in September and October for Arizona. In those starts, he was reportedly throwing in the 82-85 mph range. While never a fireballer, it was certainly a concern for the Diamondbacks.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 3, 2010 7:42 pm
 

D-Backs apparently cutting ties with Webb

Brandon Webb Brandon Webb is a free agent and it doesn't sound like the Diamondbacks are interested in bringing back the 2006 Cy Young Award winner.

The team sent out a release basically wishing Webb well. It had quotes from three Diamondbacks officials, including new general manager Kevin Towers.

“Although we have not entirely closed the door on Brandon returning to the D-backs next season, I understand the process he and his agent are going through at this time as a free agent,” Towers said in the release. “Brandon was one of the elite pitchers in the National League and a leader on D-backs’ pitching staffs until suffering the injury two years ago. We wish him continued success as he goes through this process.”

Towers saw Webb's final instructional league game last month and was noncommittal in his remarks then. Webb was throwing in the 83-84 mph range in his two-inning stint on Oct. 7 at Chase Field.

Webb's dealt with arm issues since injuring himself on opening day in 2009 and hasn't pitched in the big leagues since. He underwent Tommy John surgery in August, 2009.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 9, 2010 8:39 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:37 am
 

R.I.P. D-Backs: Headed in wrong direction

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks were embarrassed by their last-place showing in 2009. They added, they tweaked, they hoped for a big rebound.

And somehow in 2010 they got even worse.

The Diamondbacks finished with 97 losses, the same record they posted as an expansion team 13 years earlier. Arizona featured one of the worst bullpens in history, an offense that set a major-league record for strikeouts, and a midseason turnover at manager for the second year in a row.

After 2010, there’s no illusion of tweaking. The Diamondbacks are rebuilding.

WHAT WENT WRONG

A lot went wrong, but nothing went worse than the bullpen.  Arizona relievers lost 32 games, on the hook for about a third of their losses, and finished with a 5.74 ERA. That’s more than a run worse than the next-worst bullpen and almost three runs – three runs a game, think about that – worse Chad Qualls than San Diego’s top-ranked ‘pen. The opening-day closer, Chad Qualls, was traded away with an 8.29 ERA.

Brandon Webb and Dan Haren were supposed to give Arizona a killer 1-2 punch. Yeah, not so much.

After Webb threw just four innings in 2009, the Diamondbacks picked up his $8.5 million option for 2010, assured he would be ready to go this spring. Instead his rehab went on … and on … and he never threw a pitch. Instead Arizona threw that $8.5 million right down the drain. And with the writing on the wall at midseason, Haren was shipped out.

The Diamondbacks weren’t terrible offensively, eighth in the NL in runs scored, but were painful to watch as they struck out a record 1,529 times. Mark Reynolds had the dubious distinction of becoming the first man ever to finish with more strikeouts (211) than batting average points (.198).

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Edwin Jackson threw a no-hitter on June 25 (or maybe it was a no-hitter and a half, since he threw 149 pitches), the single-game highlight of the season. The only thing that would be close was tying a major-league record with four consecutive homers August 11 in Milwaukee.

Chris Young bounced back from a lousy 2009 to raise his average 45 points and hit 27 homers and drive in 91 runs. Kelly Johnson proved a nice addition, bumping his average 60 points from the previous year in Atlanta.

On the mound, Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson provide hope for the future of the rotation.

HELP ON THE WAY

Arizona had some young players in deep reserve who might benefit from more exposure, such as Cole Gillespie, Rusty Ryal and Tony Abreu.

Another piece of potential help is first baseman Brandon Allen, who didn’t do well in his first season but put in a solid year at Triple-A and looked vastly improved ina  September callup. If Adam LaRoche isn’t back, Allen is probably the guy.
 
Kirk Gibson EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Diamondbacks won’t have any luck convincing their fickle fan base that next year is going to be a run for the roses, though it’s unlikely for things to get worse and new manager Kirk Gibson has brought some legitimacy to the team.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Webb is a big question mark – do you bring him back at a discount and hope that if he does bounce back, you get something out of the money you poured in there the past two years? He seems to be getting some looks from multiple teams in instructional league, so I say walk away if the bidding gets serious.

New general manager Kevin Towers has said he wants to build the pitching staff from the closer down, so look for them to consider Rafael Soriano. Having a proven commodity in the key spot can only help the rest of the bullpen.

There are young starters in place, but there are not enough of them, and they could use an affordable veteran presence. Maybe somebody like Ted Lilly or Jake Westbrook?

2011 PREDICTION

This organization is in a pretty deep hole, and it’s not going to climb out overnight. Plus, the Padres, Giants and Rockies all have big upsides, and the NL West isn’t the cupcake it used to be. Tough to see the Diamondbacks getting out of the cellar, but in this situation you’re just looking for progress.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 1, 2010 9:23 pm
 

Nats interested in Webb, Darvish

Yu Darvish The Nationals have already made it known they're searching for a possible No. 1 starter -- and it appears they'll look everywhere from the scrap heap to the Far East.

Bill Ladson of MLB.com writes the Nationals will scout former Cy Young Award-winner Brandon Webb and the Washington Post 's Adam Kilgore writes the team could pursue Japanese ace Yu Darvish.

Webb is scheduled to pitch in an instructional league game on Saturday in Tucson, as well as on Thursday at Chase Field in Phoenix. Webb hasn't pitched this season and is a free agent after it ends.

Ladson also writes Webb would be interested in pitching for the Nationals if he doesn't re-sign with the Diamondbacks. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was director of scouting with the Diamondbacks in 2000 when the team drafted Webb.

Darvish could be posted by his team, the Nippon Ham Fighters (Ham, by the way, goes with Nippon, not Fighters -- Nippon Ham is the sponsor of the Fighters). Darvish, 23, started his professional career at 19, when he posted a 2.89 ERA -- his highest by a run in his career. Darvish went 12-8 this season with a 1.78 ERA, 222 strikeouts and 1.01 WHIP.

Darvish could cost as much as $25 million just to win the posting -- that money goes to his team, while his contract negotiations are separate.

Kilgore writes the Nationals have seen Darvish in person at least nine times and have recommended to the front office that he is worth pursuing.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 29, 2010 7:23 pm
 

Webb happy with start, scout not

Brandon Webb was happy with his one inning of work in an instructional league game in Tucson on Wednesday, but scouts on hand were less than impressed with what they saw from the right-handed free agent-to-be.

Webb threw 20 pitches in a scoreless inning. He recorded two ground-ball outs, a fly-out and a triple.

"I had some nerves going in, but it felt real good," Webb told MLB.com's Steve Gilbert . "I was throwing strikes, which was really ooh. Changeup was good. My curveball was surprisingly good. I've been throwing most of them in the dirt during simulated games, just not getting good extension on them, but it was good today."

A scout told Fanhouse's Ed Price that Webb's fastball had good sink, but was only 78-82 mph, the curve was "rolling" and his changeup was "good," but 70-72.

"Scary that that is all he's got after such long rehab," the scout told Price.

Webb is scheduled to throw in another game on Saturday and against on Oct. 7.

"I was just trying to get my feet wet today," Webb told Gilbert. "You know I had control problems at times during the [simulated] games and so today I was guiding the ball a little bit. I just didn't want to go out there and walk a bunch of guys or hit guys. I think I'll be able to let it go more next time. I'm just happy to feel so good at this point."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 28, 2010 9:52 pm
 

No surgery need for D-Backs' Hudson, Upton

Three little injury-related Diamondbacks tidbits from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic :

* Right-hander Daniel Hudson is done for the season, but will not need surgery for the strained tendon in his right middle finger. Lefty Zach Kroenke will start in his place.

* Outfielder Justin Upton will not need surgery on his right shoulder. Dr. James Andrews confirmed the initial diagnosis. Upton could still play during the final games of the season, but Piecoro writes he doesn't sound optimistic.

* Finally, right-hander Brandon Webb will throw a game in the instructional league in Tucson on Wednesday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .






Posted on: August 29, 2010 2:04 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2010 2:30 pm
 

Webb could return to mound in 2010

Brandon Webb September is around the corner, and Brandon Webb still hasn't appeared in a major-league game since undergoing surgery to repair his right shoulder's labrum.

The injury was suffered in early April of 2009, meaning Webb has essentially missed two full seasons -- but a simulated game Saturday gave the team confidence the one-time ace could pitch for Arizona in 2010.

"It looks to me like he's going to pitch," pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. told the Arizona Republic . "It really does. I couldn't say that a month ago."

Webb struggled with command and didn't flash a strong curve, but came away pleased with the hop his fastball had to it. While a low-80s fastball doesn't lend one to confidence, Webb feels he can get the fastball to 85-mph, which is just below his normal velocity. Once he gets into a regular pattern of pitching, he believes he should return to his normal 88-mph fastball that complements his devastating sinker.

"It was a big step today," Webb said. "I kind of impressed myself. I didn't know what to expect, and I'm really pleased with it."

Webb's goal is to throw two to three more simulated games and then could possibly appear out of the bullpen for the Diamondbacks in the last few weeks of the season.

Why the sudden reversal of fortune?

In the past, Webb's pitching motion involved a hesitancy that cropped up just as he was about to release the ball, hampering his velocity. No longer is that the case.

"Today, it looked like the old Webby's arm path," Stottlemyre said. "The ball had a little life, and he wasn't thinking about that little hesitation that he's had. Whether it was due to hitters there and him not thinking about mechanics and more thinking about approach and getting guys out."

Webb won the Cy Young award in 2006, going 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA in 33 starts. He finished second in the next two years before he lost two years to injury. It's anyone's guess Webb returns to the pitcher of old, but it may not happen in Arizona.

Arizona exercised the $8.5 million club option on Webb's deal after 2009, tying him and the D-Backs together for another year. However, Webb will hit free agency, opening himself up to the highest bidder. While he won't get a deal with a strong base salary after seeing much of his 2010 season torpedoed, he'll likely have a ton of incentives packed into the deal. Depending on the base salary and amount of incentives, that may take Arizona out of the running.

One thing in 'Zona's favor is the team is dropping from a $75 million payroll to just $20 million guaranteed for 2011. That figure will rise once arbitration figures are factored in, but the team should still have plenty of flexibility financially if they are committed to keeping Webb in red and gold.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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