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.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.