USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets “Brandon Webb’s
rehab is going well, but the Dbacks don’t plan to pick up his $8.5
million option. They will try to negotiate a 1-year deal.”
The problem with a 140-character limit is that it prevents a guy like Nightengale from explaining why a team would pass up on the chance at a healthy Webb for $6.5 million. And it is only $6.5, because if they decline the option they’re still on the hook for the $2 million buyout. Yes, the guy had surgery, but if he’s even remotely effective next year — and it’s not like he’s coming off of Tommy John surgery here — he’s a bargain at $6.5.
I suppose the Dbacks could know something about his health that we don’t know, but if so, why then would they be trying to do a 1-year deal rather than just letting him walk? And how much cheaper is that 1-year deal likely to be? If they screw him into the ground and no one else is interested, the best they can probably do is $3-4 million, right? If they do that and if he does turn in a bounce back season, they have effectively alienated one of the better pitchers in the NL over a lousy couple million bucks.
Nightengale was at the Dodger-Dbacks game last night so you have to figure he based this nugget on an actual conversation, but I still can’t help but think that Arizona will pick up the option.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.