Webb officially a Texas Ranger; UofL picked to finish 3rd in Big East by coaches; Wright, Ijames named all Big-east

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Brandon Webb; Photo by SD Dirk via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb plans to be ready for Spring Training but isn’t making firm timetables like last season.
  • Durrett also breaks down the process that led Webb to wear No. 33 in Texas to honor his late friend Jon Hooker, who was his roommate and teammate at UK and died in the flight 5195 crash.
  • Big East baseball coaches have picked the University of Louisville to finish third in the league. Junior infielder Ryan Wright and redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames were both named to the preseason All-Big East team.
  • College Baseball Lineup (formerly Ping! Baseball) named Wright a preseason third team All-American.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America ranks former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin‘s changeup and control as the best in the Chicago Cubs’ system.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com reports the Cincinnati Reds have signed former MLB outfielder Jeremy Hermida to a minor-league contract. If Hermida doesn’t make the MLB roster out of Spring Training he could end up with the Louisville Bats.

Webb signs with Rangers, will honor former UK teammate

Major League Baseball

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 ┬áto 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)