Brandon Webb; Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Former UK right-handed pitcher and Ashland native Brandon Webb has signed a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers pending a physical, Jason Stark of ESPN.com reports. Webb hasn’t pitched since Opening Day 2009 after repeated shoulder problems. Webb has spent each of his first seven MLB seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In seven seasons Webb is 87-62 with a 3.27 ERA and 1065 strikeouts in 1319.2 innings pitched. Webb won the 2008 Cy Young award and finished second in the voting for the award two other times. Before his shoulder injury Webb had pitched at least 200 innings in five consecutive seasons. The Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals and an unidentified mystery team in the National League Central were also interested in Webb. Reports early Tuesday pointed to Webb’s hometown Cincinnati Reds as the possible mystery team. (Read more)
UPDATE 12/28: Webb has requested to wear No. 33 in Texas to honor his former UK teammate Jon Hooker, who died in the flight 5191 crash in Lexington in August 2006. Hooker, who was Webb’s roommate at UK and was traveling on the flight to his honeymoon in California, died in the crash along with the 46 other passengers and three crew members. Hooker and his wife, Scarlett, were married the day before the crash. (Read more)
Colling Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics
Baseball America has stepped away from the Winter Meetings madness long enough to release its top ten Arizona Diamondbacks prospects, and UK alum Collin Cowgill checks in at number nine on the list. Cowgill originally was slotted at ten, but he moved up a spot after the D’Backs shipped Daniel Schlereth to the Yankees in the Curtis Granderson blockbuster. Arizona, who’s best pitcher and offensive player were both born in the Bluegrass state, is positioned to become Kentucky west with Cowgill and former UK teammate Sean Coughlin moving through the system. (Full List)
Here’s a look at Cowgill’s injury-shortened 2009 season and a snippet of BA analysis:
#9 — OF Collin Cowgill — High A Visalia — UK
- .277, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 61 games
- BA: “Cowgill earned the right to open 2010 in Double-A after hitting well in his two months at Visalia. On a contender, he profiles as a fourth outfielder who can provide righthanded pop and constant energy.”
A six-run seventh inning wasn’t enough for the Yankees to clinch their World Series berth, so the ALCS is going back to New York. Joe Blanton and the Phillies can’t start preparing for the Yankees just yet, as the Angels have served notice they’re not just going to role over. While we wait for the World Series to start here are some more Bluegrass storylines for a Friday morning:
- Lafayette alum Chaz Roe pitched two scoreless innings in his Arizona Fall League debut.
- 2009 Bats Chris Heisey and Yonder Alonso were 0-8 combined for Peoria in the AFL.
- Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes the Phillies will need better pitching from starters like Joe Blanton to win the World Series.
- Baseball America lists UK pitcher James Paxton as the one that got away in its Toronto Blue Jays’ drat report card. (subscription required)
- BA also profiles the 2010 Rays draft class, many of whom will end up in Bowling Green next season.
- Steve Gilbert of MLB.com recaps the Brandon Webb/Arizona negotiations in his latest mailbag.
- Never thought I’d link the Helena Independent Record on here, but Angela Brandt of the newspaper reports about a lawsuit alleging Louisville Slugger is liable for damages due to the death of a Montana high school baseball player who died after being hit with a line drive.