Brandon Webb is retiring from baseball. according to agents Jonathan Maurer and Mike Montana of Millennium Sports.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 4, 2013
Although he hasn't pitched in since 2009, the book has finally closed on Brandon Webb. It was announced by his agents today that the former Diamondback and 2006 Cy Young Award winner would be retiring from baseball. Webb had spent the past four years trying to come back from a shoulder injury, but it has fallen short.
Webb was an 8th round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2000 out of the University of Kentucky. He made his major league debut in 2003, as part of the so-called "Baby Backs" of that season. He finished his Rookie campaign with a 2.84 ERA, which somehow made him third in the National League Rookie of the Year award behind brief one-time Diamondbacks Dontrelle Willis and Scott Podsednik. (I will never not be bitter about that.) His control took a step back in 2004, where he walked twice as many batters as he did in any other season he had. He bounced back slightly in 2005. He then bounced back a lot the following seasons.
From 2006-2008, Webb was arguably the best pitcher in the National League. He never finished lower than second in Cy Young voting, and won the award in 2006. He was an All Star all three of those seasons, and received MVP votes in 07 and 08.
Webb was a power Sinker pitcher, but he also had a wicked Change-Up and Curveball that he used to strike hitters out. He finished his career with a 7.3 K/9 rate and a 3.0 BB/9 rate. During the 2007 season, he came within 17 innings of tying Orel Hershiser's scoreless inning streak of 59.
Of course, as we all remember, Webb came out after four innings of opening day 2009 against the Rockies with shoulder problems. Those problems would sideline him for the rest of his career. Of course, we didn't know at the time, and there were numerous talks of coming back soon and the shoulder feeling great from Webb and his agent, but he could never regain his velocity in various rehab starts. He was let go by the Diamondbacks after the 2010 season, and he signed on with the Texas Rangers, hoping to make it back to the Majors. His rehab did not go well with them either, and he spent 2012 as a Free Agent prior to today's retirement.
Webb was the best home grown pitcher in the short history of the Diamondbacks. I say that with confidence because it is fact and you would be hard to bring up anybody else that even came close. Even though his career was cut short, and his recovery brought a lot of consternation to the fanbase, his peak years were still amazing and we as Diamondback fans should remember them fondly.
So pour one out, or go fishing, for Brandon Webb. Though it was one cut down too soon, he had an amazing career.