Brandon Webb pulled off rehab with more shoulder issues

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Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram passes along word that veteran right-hander Brandon Webb had to be pulled off his minor league rehab assignment Thursday after renewed inflammation was discovered in his rotator cuff.

Webb surrendred five earned runs on eight hits during a 3 1/3-inning rehab start on Monday afternoon at Double-A Frisco. It was his first appearance in a professional game since the first week of the 2009 regular season.

The 32-year-old has been prescribed anti-inflammatories and will continue playing catch on a near-daily basis, but he won’t be allowed to resume his minor league rehab assignment for another seven days per Major League Baseball policy.

With his shoulder still nagging and his fastball velocity still residing somewhere between 81 and 84 MPH, it’s probably safe to wonder at this point whether we’ll ever see Webb take another major league mound.

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.