Brandon Webb last appeared in a big league game on Opening Day in 2009 and has undergone a series of major shoulder procedures since. But the 32-year-old is still fighting — still trying to make it back.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Webb is planning to throw for major league teams “sometime in March” in the hopes of landing a minor league contract and invitation to spring training.
The right-hander was struggling to hit 85 mph on the radar gun at last check and no longer possesses the effectiveness on his sinker that led him to the 2006 National League Cy Young Award (and second-place finishes in ’07 and ’08). But it’s feasible that he could land a camp invite if he displays good health and improved velocity in his March workout.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.