Webb finally seeing 'light at end of the tunnel'

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webb stretching.jpgDiamondbacks 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.

Report: Rangers’ deal with Seung-hwan Oh is off

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The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.

Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.

While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.