Doctors rule out surgery for Webb

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The Arizona Diamondbacks and his fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief, as multiple doctors have ruled out the possibility of Brandon Webb having season-ending shoulder surgery. The D-Backs ace recently completed a three-city trip in which he saw shoulder specialists in each, all whom said surgery is unnecessary.

Instead, Webb will hold off on throwing for the next four to six weeks while going through an exercise regimen designed to stabilize his shoulder and strengthen the rotator cuff area.

All three of the doctors examined multiple MRIs taken of Webb’s shoulder and put him through tests to gauge its strength.

“Meister said he has seen pitchers with MRIs that look 10 times worse than mine and they are pitching without problems,” Webb said.

Webb said he first began to feel some stiffness in the shoulder during Spring Training and the doctors believe that it was a teres major strain. The teres major is a muscle located outside the shoulder joint. As a result of that injury, they told him, his shoulder became weak and what he is experiencing now is an internal impingement in the shoulder.

“Yeah, I feel a lot better,” he said. “I’ve had some of the best doctors in the world for this stuff look at me and they all say pretty much the same thing. Hopefully I can get this shoulder stronger, then start throwing a little and be back to make a few starts in September. The doctors said that’s a realistic goal.”

While I doubt the D-Backs will be in the playoff hunt come September, Webb can help breathe some life into the organization. Teammate Dan Haren has been excellent all year, but like Zack Geinke, he’s the only active pitcher on his team that is guaranteed to give you a good performance. When Webb returns, he and Haren will try to get back the good thing they’ve had in Arizona.

Although Webb’s contract expires at the end of this season, the D-backs hold an option for 2010 at $8.5 million or they can buy out the option year for $2 million. How he pitches upon his return will be a good indication whether or not the Diamonbacks will want to pony up or allow Webb to become a free agent.

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Webb might be out the rest of the season

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Arizona Diamondbacks ace and former Cy Young winner Brandon Webb may be out the rest of the season. Webb was expected to miss a maximum of twelve weeks when he injured his shoulder in early April, but after a recent setback things aren’t looking good.

Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb was dealt another setback Thursday when he felt discomfort in his right shoulder during a throwing session, causing the Diamondbacks to cancel the bullpen session that had been scheduled for Friday in Seattle.

Webb left the team and returned to Phoenix, where he will be re-evaluated, according to manager A.J. Hinch. The setback casts doubt on whether he will pitch again this season.

Webb was seen by a reporter leaving Kauffman Stadium about an hour before Thursday night’s game.

Webb, who has been out since Opening Day because of what he said was a strained teres major muscle in the shoulder, was scheduled to throw off the mound today for the first time since April.

Teammate Dan Haren felt bad for what Webb has gone through this season.

“He’s come with us on the road, and he has seen us struggle a good part of the year,” Haren said. “If he was out there, I’m sure things would be a little different. He’s constantly in the training room doing these drills. To see him not getting better, I couldn’t imagine how frustrated he is.”

I’ve heard rumors that Webb is asking to be traded as well. He has a team option for 2010, so there’s a chance (although unconfirmed) that Webb is delaying his return until his future with the team is a bit more clear. Either way, this doesn’t sound like Brandon Webb to me. Like Jake Peavy, the guy just seems to love pitching and simply enjoys the game. The Diamonbacks do have one of the worst records in baseball so I can see why Webb may not be ecstatic to come back. Nevertheless, his contract includes a team option for 2010 so Webb doesn’t really have a say in the matter as far as next year is concerned. If he wants to play for a different team or earn a better contract, he needs to come back this season and prove that this injury isn’t one that will linger throughout his career.

Webb out at least six more weeks

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Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb is off to a remarkable start. He’s done remarkably well in damaging the D-Backs’ chances of winning the NL West and has performed even better in ruining the pitching for my fantasy team. What was originally a “precautionary” stint on the DL, Webb is now full-on sidelined for at least six weeks with a strained teres major muscle.

Arizona’s ace experienced tightness in his right shoulder playing catch before a scheduled bullpen session on Friday. He was immediately shut down and examined by team doctor Michael Lee later that afternoon. In the home dugout before Saturday’s game against the Giants, Webb explained his status and said he hopes to start throwing in three weeks. He expects a few bullpen sessions and at least one rehab start before pitching for the big league club.

The pitcher will start by taking one week off followed by two weeks of exercises to strengthen the shoulder.

“Obviously, I’m not real happy and it’s not what we wanted to hear,” Webb said. “Dr. Lee said it was a three-to-six-week deal whenever you strain your shoulder. We went on the three-week side of it first and now we are going to go with the six-week side of it.”

This disheartening news comes as a huge blow to the Diamondbacks organization. Not only do they have an already flimsy batting order and pitching rotation, but they lack an even mediocre replacement for Webb in Yusmeiro Petit. Add these problems to starting shortstop Stephen Drew’s hamstring troubles and the D-Backs aren’t looking too hot.

Luckily, Dan Haren has been his usual stellar self, but a second starter can only take you so far. Here’s hoping Webb returns fully healthy as soon as possible and can invigorate a desperate organization.

On a side note, I wanted to address all fantasy owners out there: I’m new to the world of fantasy, so what do you guys recommend doing with Webb? Keep him or try to use his recognition to score healthier players?

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