06 March 2010
The first games of spring training have started for the Diamondbacks, and the biggest news so far is Brandon Webb. Today, GM Josh Byrnes admitted
that it is possible that Webb will start the season on the Disabled List. At this point, Webb is not feeling any pain in his recovering shoulder, but there is still doubt if he will be ready in time.
Byrnes emphasized that the goal for Webb is to be healthy for the season, not just Opening Day. Webb has had eight bullpen sessions over the last 6 weeks, but is not scheduled to face live batters until Sunday or Monday, and will not appear in Cactus League games until mid-March. That may be enough time for Webb to be ready by Opening Day, but if it isn't, Byrnes doesn't want to rush things. "If you have to concede a little bit of time on the front end of the schedule to keep him healthy for the long haul, then that's what we'll do," Byrnes said. "But we haven't had to make that decision yet. We're taking the longer view of six months and how to get the most out of him over the length of the season."
Webb himself is a little anxious, and said he feels "stagnant." "I just need a little more intensity," he said. "I need to jack myself up, I need something. I don't want to overdo it either, I don't want to set myself back. That's like the thing that's in the back of my mind always. I'm set up right now to be where I need to be and one little setback would probably push me back to where I don't want to be. Still a little cautious." We'll see how Webb feels after throwing to batters in the next few days.
Some other things to note from the first days of Spring Training:
Tony Abreu -
Abreu has played SS in both games so far, going 2 for 5 with 1 Run Scored and 1 RBI, and no errors. If Abreu shows that he can an adequate SS, it greatly increases the chances of him making the Opening Day 25-Man roster. If Abreu can't handle SS, then Augie Ojeda will certainly make the team as the backup SS to Stephen Drew.
- In the first two games, veteran pitchers Bob Howry (1 IP, 4 H, 2ER) and Aaron Heilman (1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER) struggled in their first outings. Youngsters Clay Zavada (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER) and Esmerling Vasquez (0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER) also had rough first appearances.
On the bright side, Justin Upton hit a grand slam against the Cubs, Dan Haren threw two scoreless innings, and Ryan Roberts also hit a HR. Battling for an opening day roster spot, Cole Gillespie has gone 2-3 with a HR.