Brandon Webb is still a long way from actually pitching for the Rangers, but he’s making some incremental progress.
According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Webb flew to Arizona yesterday after completing his latest long-toss session under the supervision of Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux. He’s scheduled to throw two innings in an extended spring training game Monday.
“It’s the biggest step so far,” Webb said about going to extended spring games. “It will be more intense than what I’ve had to so far, so that will be good I think to crank the intensity up. That should help me.”
Webb believes he’ll make a few outings there before being reevaluated. The Rangers have yet to map out a timetable for a rehab assignment or a potential return from the disabled list. And for good reason. Given Webb’s lengthy list of setbacks following shoulder surgery in August of 2009, he’s nothing more than a lottery ticket at this point.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.