In a move that seemed inevitable after the losing out on Cliff Lee, the Rangers signed former Cy Young award winner Brandon Webb. The 31 year old will be trying to resurrect his career after being plagued with injuries. Webb hasn’t pitched in the bigs since opening day of 2009.
He clearly can, or could, pitch. His career numbers stand at 87-62 with a 3.27 era. The Kentucky native has never been an overpowering strikeout pitcher, which may be good after missing almost two years of mound time. It is rare that a power arm can fully regain his velocity after such injuries. But Webb, and his dominating sinker, can hopefully bounce back and get back to the 64% groundout ratio he once was.
So where will Webb pitch in the rotation? Well, only Ron Washington knows for sure, but I’ll pretend I’m manager. I’d keep C.J. Wilson in the ace spot, as he is proven in Texas. But, after Wilson I would say it’s fair game, really you can throw out any name and hopefully get similar results. But for arguments sake this is how I see it:
You’ll notice that I left Neftali Feliz out of the rotation. Trust me Rangers fans, this is the for best. I will be writing a piece on why in the coming days. But trust me, you do not want him in the rotation.
Some seemed surprised that Webb would choose Texas as a “comeback” stage, given the nature of the ballpark. The ballpark is not exactly known for being pitcher-friendly, but the way I see it, it should not be a huge factor given Webb was never a guy who gave up many fly out anyway. And a ground out in Texas is the same as a ground out in Arizona.
Now for what you’ve all been waiting for, my opinion on the signing (let me pretend). Personally, I am a huge fan of the deal. I have always been a supporter of low risk high reward deals, Theo Epstein must have me brainwashed. Everyone knows what kind of numbers this guy can put up if he’s healthy. And there is no reason to think he isn’t, multiple sources say that Webb is healthy with no lingering effects of his injuries. The only thing he needs to regain is his velocity. But, there is no reason to think that he cannot put up numbers of 15-10 4.00 era in 2011. As long as Webb stays healthy, the Rangers have made a great investment.