The Rangers’ experiment with former Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb has already hit a snag.
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers are now limiting Webb to purely flat-ground work in camp because they’re not confident in the strength of his throwing shoulder, which has been giving him problems now for two straight years. He has been banned from the mound indefinitely.
Webb, 32 in May, hasn’t pitched in a big league game since the first week of the 2009 season. He had a 3.24 ERA and averaged 14 wins per year from 2003-2008 and the Rangers forked over a one-year, $3 million contract to him this winter that carries another $5 million in performance-based incentives. But it sounds like the right-hander has a long way to go before he can begin trying to earn that money.
For now, Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux is saying that Webb is only a week behind. We’ll see if that holds.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.