Brandon Webb hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues since Opening Day of 2009 due to nagging shoulder issues, but he hasn’t given up on the idea of a comeback.
According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports that the Twins will be among the teams in attendance for a throwing session by Webb after the holidays. He hopes to impress someone enough to receive an invite to spring training.
Webb’s last comeback was in 2011 after signing with the Rangers, but he struggled in the minors while showing diminished velocity. He eventually went down with more shoulder issues and required rotator cuff surgery last August. The 33-year-old right-hander was noncommittal about a comeback in September, but it sounds like he’s going to give it one last go.
Webb owns an 87-62 record and 3.27 ERA over seven seasons in the majors. He placed first, second and second in the National League Cy Young balloting from 2006-08.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.
Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”
Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.
Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.