Brandon Webb is an optimistic chap these days. He wants to pitch yet before the season is over and thinks he can do it. Plus, he likes the looks of the Dbacks’ revamped pitching staff and would like to be part of it next year:
“I like the pitching staff
a lot,” he said. “The young guys are doing a great job. I think they’re
only going to get better, getting experience and stuff up here. I think
they’re going to be really good. I’d definitely like to be a part of
that next year.”
Recall last January he was talking about taking his talents back closer to his Kentucky home. Of course then he still had hopes of putting up a nice walk year that could land him some free agent interest.
At this point, however, he’s only going to get himself an incentive-laden deal, and one figures that the best incentives would be offered by the team that knows his health and pitching status the best (i.e. the Dbacks). Everyone else would be taking an even greater and more ill-informed gamble.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.