Brandon Webb hasn’t pitched in the majors since Opening Day of 2009, undergoing shoulder surgery that August and experiencing multiple setbacks on the road to recovery.
And now he’s going under the knife again, with Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reporting that the former Cy Young winner will have rotator cuff surgery on August 1.
That rules him out for the remainder of this season and most it not all of 2012, and Webb’s inability to stay healthy and rediscover his lost velocity nearly two years after his initial surgery makes it hard to imagine him bouncing back quickly from another operation.
Webb debuted as a 24-year-old in 2003 and the ground-ball machine posted ERAs of 2.84, 3.59, 3.54, 3.10, 3.01, and 3.30 in his first six seasons, winning a Cy Young award in 2006 and finishing runner-up in both 2007 and 2008. And now there’s a chance he may have thrown his final big-league pitch at age 30. What a shame.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.