Webb Targeting a September Return
Brandon Webb (Mark J. Terill/AP)

Posted Jul 2, 2009


The absence of Brandon Webb has perhaps been the biggest culprit in a disappointing season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-backs finally got some good news regarding the status of their ace - he will not need to undergo shoulder surgery, and hopes to return for the final month of the season.

Brandon Webb has decided not to undergo shoulder surgery after three specialists told him the same thing: an operation is unnecessary.

Webb, who has not pitched since opening day, told the Diamondbacks' website that he hopes to return in September, and that he will not throw for the next four to six weeks while engaging in a shoulder strengthening program.

A teres major muscle injury Webb suffered in spring created weakness that has led to an impingement, according to the diagnosis from specialists Keith Mesiter, David Altchek, and James Andrews.

"I've had some of the best doctors in the world for this stuff look at me, and they all say pretty much the same thing. Hopefully I can get this shoulder stronger, then start throwing a little and be back to make a few starts in September. The doctors said that's a realistic goal," Webb told the team's Web site.

Webb, 30, has been noticeable by his absence this season as the D-backs have fallen into last place in the NL West. He went 22-8 with a 3.30 ERA last season, and he has won 56 games in the last three seasons while finishing first, second, and second in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

In his spot in the rotation, the fill-ins are 2-9 with a 7.77 ERA, permitting 17 home runs in 70 2/3 innings. Yusmeiro Petit will start Saturday, the next time a fifth starter is needed.

The Diamondbacks hold an $8.5 million option on Webb for 2010, along with a $2 million buyout clause.

"After meeting with several doctors, 'Webby' has decided to proceed with a conservative course of treatment," Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes said. "We are optimistic that this will give him the best chance to return to pitching."

REDS 1, DIAMONDBACKS 0: Arizona managed only two hits, and neither left the infield, in being shut out for the sixth time this season. RHP Jon Garland gave up six hits in six innings but lost his sixth consecutive decision, extending the longest losing streak of his career. The D-backs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and got only one runner as far as third base off RHP Johnny Cueto and three relievers.

SNAKE BYTES

--1B Chad Tracy went 0-for-1 with a walk Wednesday in his first start since May 29. Tracy was activated Tuesday after missing a month with a strained oblique muscle. Tracy, hitting .203 with four homers and 17 RBI when he went on the disabled list, played both first and third base earlier in the year, but manager A.J. Hinch said he expects to use Tracy only at first for the rest of the season.

--RHP Dan Haren had an eventful June on both sides of the plate. Not only was Haren 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and six quality starts in June, he also went 6-for-13 (.462) at the plate with two doubles and his first major league home run, hit Tuesday at Cincinnati. Haren has become a proficient hitter in his second stay in the National League.  He is hitting .286 with four doubles and four RBI in 35 at-bats this season and .234 in his two seasons back in the NL after spending the previous three in Oakland.

--RHP Yusmeiro Petit will be activated for a start Saturday against Colorado, manager A.J. Hinch said. Petit has been on the disabled list since May 9 with a sore right shoulder. In five rehab starts for Class AAA Reno, Petit is 0-1 with a 6.89 ERA. "He hasn't pitched as well as we would have liked," Hinch said. "He is healthy." Petit, whose time on the rehab stint was growing short, is 0-3 with an 8.03 ERA in six appearances with the D-backs this season, five starts.

--RHP Jon Garland has not won since May 19, a span of nine starts. He has five quality starts in that stretch. "I think over my last six or seven, I've gone out and given my team a pretty darn good chance to win the ballgames," Garland said. "That's my job. If I keep throwing the ball the way I did tonight and in a few of those previous ones, it will turn around."

--C Miguel Montero raised his batting average to .255, the highest it has been since May 12, with a three-hit game in Cincinnati on Tuesday, although it slipped to .252 when he went 0-for-2 Wednesday. He hit .288 with two homers and 10 RBI in June, and he is 16-for-50 (.320) since pressed into full-time service after C Chris Snyder (back) was scratched from a start in Kansas City on June 16 and later placed on the disabled list.

DIAMOND STAT: 2-11-1 -- The D-backs' record in their 14 home series this season.

QUOTABLE:
"Yeah, I was frustrated.  Sometimes it felt good, sometimes not good, I was just tired of not being able to get over the hump. It wears on you. I was like something has to be wrong." -- Brandon Webb on the status of his shoulder during he bullpen sessions this summer.
 


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