NL West Report: When IS Brandon Webb Coming Back?

A simultaneously large and small roster move was made this past week in the NL West. Pitcher Brandon Webb was moved to the 60-day disabled list. The move is unsurprising if not telegraphed, so this somewhat under-the radar news is simultaneously big news and no news. Contrary to the name of the move itself, it does not leave Brandon Webb off the 25-man roster for two months from now. Retroactive to his initial placement on the 15-day DL, Webb is eligible to return May 25, missing nearly one third of the season at best.

Of course, Webb won't be on the mound at Coors Field on May 25. As it stands, the most he has done is play catch in the past week, with his last dirtpile ascent ocurring in early March. Webb is currently playing catch on flat ground for 5-10 minutes on a 2-day-on, 1-day-off schedule. Following that, he will have to pitch off a mound, build arm strength, find each of his pitches, and throw a rehab stint in the minor leagues. All without a single setback that he has become accustomed to. So the timetable for this comeback?

"I think it starts with him feeling better, but also we can start to establish some kind of timeline when he's on a mound," General Manager Josh Byrnes said. "Until then, it's hard to guess." - Nick Piecoro, AZCentral

There is none. One of the main reasons Arizona was thought to compete with the Rockies was the potential return of Webb, but he is looking to be out at least another six to eight weeks. Already in last place, Arizona is treated by the schedule makers to home series against St. Louis and Philadelphia and road series against the Rockies and Cubs.

Meanwhile, at the back end of the Diamondbacks' rotation, Ian Kennedy is sporting an 8.68 ERA and Kris Benson, who had just two MLB starts from 2006-09 and is most famous for his bad contract and wife, is now a regular in the starting rotation. Benson threw 6 innings and allowed two runs in his first start this past weekend, though it ought to be noted that it came at PetCo Park.

Okay, so here's my point. In our competition between Brandon Webb and Jeff Francis, we're at a 0-0 stalemate. But the Rockies' sixth starter is Greg Smith, who is 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA and a team best K/BB. That ERA isn't great, but it is less than Jeff Francis' career mark. I'd rather have Smith every fifth day than journeyman Kris Benson or unproven Billy Buckner or Kevin Mulvey. Especially if Ian Kennedy doesn't step him game up, the Diamondbacks' lack of depth will completely hamstring them.

NL West Report

Arizona (5-7, 5th, L4, 3 GB)

Last Week: 1-5. 1-2 @ Dodgers. 0-3 @ Padres. The NL West road trip was not kind to Arizona, who owns the longest losing streak in the division thus far. The pitching staff allowed at least five runs in all six games, but the offense managed to exceed five only once - their one win on the week.

This Week: 3 game home series vs. Cardinals. 3 game home series vs. Phillies. Arizona gets a chance to go home and recuperate at Chase Field, where they are 4-2. Okay, not really. They have to face the Cardinals, who have allowed 9 fewer runs than any MLB team, and the Phillies, who have scored eight more runs than any MLB team.

You Should Know: Of Arizona's eight relievers, only Blaine Boyer (3.60) and Leo Rosales (2.70) have ERAs below 7.00. The bullpen as a unit has a 6.93 ERA. As a comparison, no Rockie reliever has an ERA over 4.50.

News: Outfielder Jackson injures hamstring | dbacks.com: News - Conor Jackson is day-to-day with a hamstring injury.

Tim Dierkes at MLBTradeRumors points out the contract issues facing Arizona this offseason.

Ken Rosenthal suggests that the Diamondbacks' interest in Jarrod Washburn has cooled. Josh Byrnes is content to ride the Lopez/Benson/Buckner/Mulvey wave in hopes that they can make a trade midseason.

Miguel Montero underwent successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He is likely to return in 4-6 weeks.

Miguel Montero

#26 / Catcher / Arizona Diamondbacks

5-11

190

L

R

Jul 09, 1983

Dierkes also has a conversation with GM Josh Byrnes about his first trade as Arizona's GM. Byrnes acquired catcher Johnny Estrada for pitchers Lance Cormier and Oscar Villareal. None of the three proved especially valuable, but Byrnes did flip Montero for Doug davis at a later date

Transactions: Called up RHP Kris Benson. Optioned RHP Esmerling Vasquez to AAA Reno.

Injuries:  As discussed above, Brandon Webb was moved to the 60-day DL yesterday. Adam LaRoche is day-to-day with a tight right quad after missing a few days. He should return today or tomorrow. Miguel Montero's surgery went well to repair his torn meniscus. Montero should be out 4-6 more weeks at least.

Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Miguel Montero knee 04/11/2010

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brandon Webb shoulder 03/26/2010

Star-divide

Los Angeles (6-6, t-2nd, W1, 2 GB)

Last Week: 4-2. 2-1 vs. Diamondbacks. 2-1 vs. Giants. Dodger Stadium was enough to ease Los Angeles' first week troubles.

This Week: 3 game road series @ Reds. 3 game road series @ Nationals. Fresh off a strong home week, the Dodgers will get sent out for a nine game east coast road trip against teams that average two games below .500.

You Should Know: The Dodgers have allowed 70 runs, more than all but four teams (Royals, Pirates, Brewers and Nationals). Conversely, they have scored more than every team outside of Philadelphia.

News: It's hard to believe, but Vin Scully has been behind the mic for 60 years for the Dodgers.

All-time good guy Brad Ausmus will be out three months after having surgery to repair a herniated disc in his mask. Ausmus had not been on the disabled list before in his 17-year career.

Brad Ausmus

#12 / Catcher / Los Angeles Dodgers

5-11

190

R

R

Apr 14, 1969

Ned Colletti will hold serve, keeping A.J. Ellis as Russell Martin's back-up rather than acquiring a catcher elsewhere. Of course, that's not surprising, given Russell Martin's back-up tends to start as much as Omar Quintanilla.

If Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are indeed supposed to regress, it hasn't happened yet. Kemp and Ethier both had a good week.
MLB.com's Ken Gurnick oulines Charlie Haeger's LONG road to he major leagues.

Transactions: RHP Russ Ortiz was designated for assignment yesterday, replaced by RHP Jon Link. Ortiz had a 10.29 ERA and led all Dodger relievers in innings pitched and batters faced. 

Injuries: Manny Ramirez is day-to-day with tightness in his left calf after missing two games over the weekend. Hong-Chih Kuo was effective in a minor league outing yesterday. Ronald Belisario also pitched in the minors yesterday and is scheduled to pitch tonight. He is scheduled to be activated Wednesday, a huge "relief" for a bullpen ranked last in the National League in ERA going into yesterday.

Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brad Ausmus back 04/09/2010
Hong-Chih Kuo elbow 03/26/2010
Cory Wade shoulder 03/26/2010

other

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Manny Ramirez calf 04/18/2010




Star-divide

San Diego (6-6, t-2nd, W3, 2 GB)

Last Week: 4-2. 1-2 vs. Braves. 3-0 vs. Diamondbacks. San Diego outscored their opponents by 18 runs last week on the strength of of their fifteen run drubbing of Atlanta Monday. A sweep of Arizona completed their 4-2 week at home, though next week offers more challenges

This Week:  3 game home series vs. Giants. 3 game road series @ Reds. The Giants aren't likely to be happy after their first series loss of the season, and traveling to the east is never easy.

News:  Jayson Stark doesn't believe that Heath Bell will be traded this season. His $4million salary is not a back-breaker, and he's under control through 2011. He might still be traded next season.

Heath Bell

#21 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres

6-3

250

R

R

Sep 29, 1977

The Padres have now joined the Giants in the list of teams to sweep a series this season. GasLampBall is excited.
The Padres are moving towards signing Dominican teenage 3B prospect Duanel Jones. Nothing is immenent, but it is on its way.
The Padres are taking partial ownership in Ubaldo's no-hitter. It's actually legitimate too, as the Padres' coordinator of Latin American scouting, Felix Feliz, was the scout that signed Jimenez nine years ago.
Transactions: Recalled RHP Adam Russell on April 12, then optioned him back down yesterday in favor of LHP Wade LeBlanc.

Injuries: Chris Young is slated for a bullpen session sometime this week.

San Diego Padres Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chris Young shoulder 04/07/2010
Joe Thatcher shoulder 03/26/2010

Star-divide

San Francisco (8-4, 1st, L1)

Last Week: 3-3.  2-1 vs. Pirates. 1-2 @ Dodgers. The Giants won a home series against the Pirates as they should have, then lost a road series over the weekend to the Dodgers.

This Week: 3 game road series @ Padres. 3 game home series vs. Cardinals. The schedule takes its first difficult turn for San Francisco. They'll have to travel to PetCo Park, where the Padres just finished off a sweep of the Diamondbacks, and host the mighty Cardinals, who are 4-2 on the road. This is the first week of the season that Tim Lincecum won't pitch twice.

News: Fred Lewis has been asking for a trade from the Giants for over a year. He finally got his wish. McCovey Chronicles has a requiem for their departed comrade, including dismaying evidence that Lewis is actually a unicorn.

Fred Lewis

San Francisco Giants

6-2

200

Dec 09, 1980

Tim Dierkes continues his series of analyzing teams' contractual obligations in the 2010-11 offseason.  Link.
In that vein, The Baseball Opinion opines that there will be a fallout from Matt Cain's contract extension.
Dierkes also has a comical diatribe against players who overvalue themselves based on "looking at the wrong numbers."  The Giant in question is Bengie Molina. OMG DINGERZ!
Baserunning blunders are some of the most frustrating events for fans. Eugenio Velez is keeping Giants' fans frustrated.
Transactions: Traded OF Fred Lewis to Toronto for a PTBNL or cash considerations. Recalled 2B Matt Downs.

Injuries: Placed CF Aaron Rowand on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion after being hit in the head with a pitch. He broke bones in his face, but won't need surgery to repair. Mark DeRosa is day-to-day with a mild hamstring strain.

San Francisco Giants Injuries

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Mark DeRosa hamstring 04/18/2010

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Aaron Rowand concussion 04/17/2010
Freddy Sanchez shoulder 03/26/2010
Emmanuel Burriss foot 03/26/2010
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