Arizona's Webb Will Open Season on DL
The unofficial word is that Webb absolutely will be put on the DL by the Diamondbacks when they break camp early next month.
The news isn't dire; in fact it's anything but for Webb and for the Diamondbacks, who need a healthy Webb if they're going to maximize their potential in 2010. Webb played some catch Saturday morning before the Diamondbacks played the Dodgers and came out of the experience telling manager A.J. Hinch he "felt great."
It was the first throwing session for Webb since March 4, when he complained of feeling "stagnant" in the wake of last August's shoulder surgery. In Saturday's session throwing on flat ground, Webb not only threw well, but he felt good enough to break off a few breaking pitches.
"He showed more life in his arm today," Hinch said. "Throwing a few breaking balls may not sound like big news, but it is to us. That means he's able to throw without reservation, and that's big."
Next up for Webb sometime in the next week or so is throwing off a bullpen mound, and then he'll face some hitters.
It's time, and not the injury itself, that is going to land Webb on the DL.
"[Edwin] Jackson, [Ian] Kennedy and [Dan] Haren have all thrown twice (in spring games) and are working on their third time," Hinch said. "He hasn't thrown off a mound yet while other rotation candidates are stretching themselves out in games. The fact that we are running out of time for him (to start games in the first week of the season) is fairly obvious."
The Diamondbacks started the 2009 season with Webb in the rotation. He pitched four innings in the opener against Colorado on April 6, went on the disabled list on April 7 with shoulder bursitis and didn't pitch again.
"What we want from his first start is for him to be healthy," Hinch said. "We experienced having him for one start and losing him. We don't want that again."