Brandon Webb finally provided some reason for optimism last week by tossing three shutout innings in a rehab start at Double-A, but that all vanished in his follow-up start Sunday when he failed to make it out of the first inning while allowing four runs.
Afterward the rehabbing former Cy Young winner told Louie Horvath of MLB.com that he “felt pretty good” and “didn’t think there was a hard-hit ball” among the six hits he allowed while recording two outs, saying: “There were four of them that were ground balls in the hole, one little blooper.”
Even at his best Webb never succeeded because of his velocity, so inducing lots of ground balls is a good sign for one of the most ground-ball heavy pitchers in baseball, but ultimately he has an 11.57 ERA in three starts at Double-A and hasn’t faced big-league hitters since Opening Day of 2009. Texas is running out of time to get anything from their $3 million investment.
The Diamondbacks announced on Sunday that the club will call up pitching prospect Braden Shipley from Triple-A Reno to start on Monday against the Brewers. He’ll oppose Chase Anderson.
Shipley, 24, was selected by the Diamondbacks in the first round — 15th overall — of the 2013 draft. This season, his first at Triple-A, Shipley has compiled a 3.70 ERA with a 77/22 K/BB ratio in 119 1/3 innings.
MLB Pipeline ranks Shipley as the Diamondbacks’ best prospect and 58th overall in baseball. The right-hander throws a fastball that sits in the low-90’s but can reach the mid-90’s. Shipley is also regarded for throwing a change-up and a power curve.
After Sunday’s win against the Angels, the Astros announced that the club is calling up infield prospect Alex Bregman. Danny Worth has been designated for assignment to create room on the roster.
Bregman, 22, is considered the Astros’ best prospect and #18 overall in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. He hit .297/.415/.559 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI with Double-A Corpus Christi before being promoted to Triple-A Fresno. In 18 games with Fresno, Bregman hit .333/.373/.641 with six home runs and 15 RBI.
Bregman doesn’t have an obvious positional opening with the Astros, particularly since the club also signed Yulieski Gourriel. As a result, Bregman played some third base and, recently, left field. So the Astros may have him play at a handful of positions, even giving the middle infield regulars Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa a breather every so often.