Will the D-backs Keep Webb in 2010?

Will the D-backs Keep Webb in 2010?

Brandon Webb is scheduled to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery today, raising the question of whether the Arizona Diamondbacks will be willing to exercise his $8.5 million option for 2010. Also: Miguel Montero is confirmed as the starting catcher for the remainder of 2009.

Brandon Webb will undergo right shoulder surgery today and miss the rest of the season. That means the Diamondbacks will not have a chance to evaluate him before they must exercise their $8.5 million option on him for 2010.

Therefore, Webb may have pitched his last game for the D-backs after a six-year run in which he established himself as the second-best pitcher in franchise history, behind only Randy Johnson.  He was also one of the top five pitchers in all of baseball in that span.

The D-backs have a one-week window after the conclusion of the World Series in which to accept the option or pay Webb a $2 million buyout. It is difficult to imagine they will accept the option without seeing a healthy Webb, especially in light of the fact that no insurance carrier would underwrite the $52 million contract extension the D-backs offered Webb but pulled off the table following a physical exam last summer.

Webb opted for surgery after a second consultation with shoulder specialist Dr. Keith Meister, who is the Texas Rangers' team physician. The operation will be conducted Monday in Arlington, Texas, where Meister also is the director of TMI Sports Medicine.

Webb, who has been on the disabled list since giving up six runs in four innings on Opening Day, saw three specialists in late June after feeling continued soreness, but surgery was considered unnecessary at that point. Webb went on a five-week strengthening program in an attempt to strengthen the shoulder, but he felt pain again early last week when he threw a ball for the first time in five weeks.

Only Johnson (118) has more victories with the D-backs than Webb (87). The two also are 1-2 in strikeouts, innings pitched, starts and shutouts.

Webb, 30, won the NL Cy Young Award after going 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA in 2006 and finished second in 2007 and 2008. He tied for the major league lead with 22 victories last season, when his shoulder did not seem an issue, even after the extension was pulled.

Webb won his last four starts, giving up eight earned runs in 29 innings, and was 10-3 in 13 starts from July 26.

DIAMONDBACKS 5, METS 2: RHP Jon Garland threw his first complete game since July 6, 2008, in his seventh consecutive quality start. Garland gave up seven hits but did not walk a batter. OF Gerardo Parra, who leads major league rookies in RBI, had a run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly as the D-backs rested cleanup hitter 3B Mark Reynolds. IF Augie Ojeda, who started at third base, reached base five times -- a single, a triple, two walks and a hit by pitch. C Miguel Montero had three hits, and 1B Chad Tracy had a two-run double.

SNAKE BYTES

--3B/1B Mark Reynolds' streak of 46 consecutive starts ended Sunday, when he did not play in a 5-2 victory over the Mets in New York. Reynolds' last non-start came June 8 in San Diego, when he was used as a pinch-hitter. He had played in 69 straight games since sitting out May 13 against Cincinnati. Reynolds has five home runs in his last six games, including homers measured at 481 feet (June 29) and 462 feet (Aug. 1), according to analyst Greg Rybarczyk, a mechanical engineer who runs the web site hittrackeronline.com.

--3B/1B Mark Reynolds had eight homers in July, tied for third in the major leagues with Texas OF Andruw Jones behind Pittsburgh OF Garrett Jones (10) and Chicago Cubs' 1B Derrek Lee (9). Reynolds is tied for second place in franchise history for July homers with OF Chris Young (2007). OF Luis Gonzalez hit nine homers in 2001.

--The D-backs had their first winning month of the season in July, going 14-12. They were 9-13 in April, 13-16 in May, and 9-17 in June.

--RHP Jon Garland (6-10) made his seventh straight quality start, and ninth in his last 10, while throwing his first complete game in more than a year Sunday. He needed only 106 pitches. Garland's ERA over his last seven starts is 2.81, although he is only 2-3 with two no-decisions.

--C Miguel Montero had a three-hit game Sunday, following the best month of his career in July. He hit .337 with eight doubles, six homers and 16 RBI while receiving regular work in July when C Chris Snyder was forced onto the disabled list with a lower back strain. Montero will flip-flop roles with Snyder going forward, decided manager A. J. Hinch, with Montero catching 4-5 games a week and former regular Snyder catching the rest.

DIAMOND STAT: 30 -- 3B/1B Mark Reynolds' home run total through Aug. 2, already two more than his previous career high, set last season.

QUOTABLE: "At this point, I think Miguel has won the majority of the games back behind the plate, so I'll stick with Miggy." -- Manager A. J. Hinch, in announcing that Miguel Montero will start the majority of the games over the final two months ahead of former regular C Chris Snyder.


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