Former National League Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb retired from Major League Baseball after a third unsuccessful attempt to come back from shoulder injuries that have prevented him from pitching since 2009.
Webb, 33, led the majors with 70 wins for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2005 through 2008 and won the Cy Young in 2006 as the NL’s best pitcher by going 16-8 with a 3.10 earned run average.
Webb was the runner-up for the award the following two seasons and went 22-7 with a 3.30 ERA in 2008. His only start after that was on opening day of the 2009 season, when he left after four innings with discomfort in his left shoulder. After undergoing two surgeries and failing to see improvement during his comeback attempts, Webb decided he was out of options.
“I was at the top of my game and then it was just suddenly over,” Webb was quoted as saying by MLB.com. “My dad said, ’At least you didn’t have to struggle, at least you went out on top.’ I was like, ’Yeah, but I would almost have rather have tapered off, because I think that would have been easier for me rather than just suddenly be done.’”
Webb spent his entire seven-year major league career in Arizona, going 87-62 with a 3.27 ERA. He attempted comebacks with the Diamondbacks in 2010, with the Texas Rangers in 2011 and again this offseason before retiring.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s a relief though, too,” Webb said, according to MLB.com. “I can stop worrying if I’ve done enough. I was putting in all this time and effort over the last three years and it turned out to be all for nothing.”
Elsewhere in the majors, the Oakland Athletics yesterday acquired infielder Jed Lowrie in a five-player trade with the Houston Astros.
Lowrie, a 28-year-old switch-hitter, batted .244 with a career-high 16 home runs and 42 runs batted in over 97 games last season, when he spent almost two months on the disabled list. The A’s also got pitcher Fernando Rodriguez from the Astros for first baseman Chris Carter, pitcher Brad Peacock and minor-league catcher Max Stassi.
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