Brandon Webb is now more than two full years removed from his last big-league start, but the former Cy Young winner is still trying to get healthy following shoulder surgery and said yesterday that he’d be willing to pitch out of Texas’ bullpen once he does come off the disabled list.
Webb, who threw a 70-pitch bullpen session yesterday, said that he’d still rather start but “would do it … if it’s a chance to pitch.”
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Webb “is still 4-6 weeks away from completing his comeback,” so while the Rangers’ rotation looks full and is performing very well right now plenty of things could change between now and late May. On the other hand, Texas will also get starters Tommy Hunter and Scott Feldman back from the DL at some point, perhaps before Webb.
Webb’s only career relief appearance came in his MLB debut and since then he’s made 198 starts, the last of which came on Opening Day of 2009. There’s no sense in worrying about Webb’s role at this point, because he’s no longer a particularly strong bet to contribute significantly this season and if he does come back in 4-6 weeks looking good and healthy the Rangers will figure out a way to use of their $3 million investment.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!