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Treating Brandon Webb’s Injury With Cautious Optimism

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Maybe it’s just bad timing. Brandon Webb's first trip to the disabled list in six years came the same week as FOX Sports reporting that an insurance company declined to cover a large contract extension offered last year. Based on these two events, some fans are a little worried about the true extent of his injury.

After his Opening Day start, Webb said he felt some stiffness in his shoulder, and it looks like that never cleared up. He's on the 15-day DL and Yusmeiro Petit took his place in the rotation on Saturday.

Nobody in the organization is worried — they never are — but for matters involving an ace's arm, you're always going to have some apprehension in the bleachers. One blogger on Fanster put it gloomily: "Let me tell you how this story ends: Brandon Webb out for the year." Boy, I don't know about that.

Another writer for Venom Strikes wonders if "we aren’t being told the entire story."

It's as simple as this: if there's no Brandon Webb, there's no chance at the NL West this year, even if Max Scherzer — who returns to the rotation tomorrow — has a fantastic rookie year. Dan Haren would need miracles performed by Jon Garland and Doug Davis, which is unlikely. The good news is, there's probably an equal likelihood of Webb not pitching again in 2009.

Haren has looked fantastic, though. Don't let the 0-2 record fool you*, he's struck out 11 batters in 13 innings with a WHIP of 0.77. The problem is that his team has scored just one run in his two starts.

* – This is just a note to myself to write one letter every day to the office of Major League Baseball asking them to cease keeping track of wins and losses for pitchers, which may be the most misleading statistic in baseball. Why not keep track of wins for catchers? Or scorekeepers? Or hometown radio announcers?

And so far, the hitting has not been there to help out the pitchers. The entire team is hitting .218, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Let's look at their run average in their wins and losses:

Wins (2): 9.0 runs/game
Losses (4): 1.25 runs/game

It's full-on air conditioning or sweltering desert heat for these guys.

I, for one, will believe Webb's health when I see it, although I do have high hopes he'll be fine, given his durable track record. But once he gets back, hopefully the bats will also be cured of their stiffness.

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  • Brian K

    I watched Scherzer pitch in college. I missed last year’s start vs. the Cards so it will be fun seeing him go against his hometown team tonight.