Diamondbacks starter Brandon Webb hasn’t appeared in a major league game since September of 2009 due to ongoing shoulder troubles and isn’t close to returning this season. But he did finally make a bit of progress on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
Webb fired a 30-pitch bullpen session at the sudden request of Arizona pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and told reporters afterward that he is finally beginning to see “a little light at the end of the tunnel.” It was the first time he had toed a pitching rubber in close to three months and he felt no pain or discomfort.
The 31-year-old right-hander owns a 3.27 career ERA, a 1.24 career WHIP and an 87-62 lifetime record. To say he’s been successful through his first seven professional seasons would be an understatement, but many are beginning to compare his injury-related fall from grace to that of Mark Mulder’s. Let’s hope that kind of talk turns out to be premature. Mulder, 32, is currently without a team.
As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.
Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.
Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.
Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.
Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:
Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.
Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.