Doing a webchat at Diamondbacks.com on Thursday, free agent Brandon Webb said he hasn’t thrown lately, but that he still hasn’t given up on making it back to the majors.
“I haven’t retired yet,” Webb said. “But, I did stop throwing a couple months ago, so I don’t know. I may pick up a ball this winter just to see where I’m at and go from there, but nothing as of right now. I’m just kind of hanging out. Nothing finalized yet.”
Webb was doing the chat in advance of the Diamondbacks’ first-ever Alumni Game at Chase Field on Saturday. He still isn’t sure whether he’ll try pitching in the game.
“As of right now, I don’t know if I can, with my arm,” he said. “I’m going to go to the workout on Saturday and see how that goes. I know everyone is going to ask that and some of the guys are asking. It’s still up in the air. But if not, I’m going to manage. Assistant skipper, you can say.”
Pitching for Arizona, Webb finished first, second and second in the NL Cy Young balloting from 2006-08, but he injured his shoulder in his first start of the 2009 season and hasn’t appeared in a major league game since. He struggled in the minors after signing with the Rangers last year and had his most recent shoulder operation on his rotator cuff last August.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.