The Texas Rangers took a gamble in the offseason, signing former Cy Young winner Brandon Webb to a one-year deal in the hopes that the once-ace could return to form. He sort of did return to form! Unfortunately, that form was the more recent vintage -- the pitcher who was hurt too badly to pitch. Crushing news for Webb, as relayed by Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Rangers say that Brandon Webb is considering his options, one of which is rotator cuff surgery. He's likely done for the year.
Dang. There isn't a pitcher in recent memory who serves as a better example of how quickly a pitcher's fortunes can change. From 2006 through 2008, Webb finished second or better in every Cy Young vote. He averaged 227 innings pitched from 2004 through 2008, and was one of the best, most durable pitchers in the game. And then in 2009, he made a single start before going on the disabled list. That was the last the baseball world has seen of Brandon Webb.
Though he hasn't announced his retirement yet, it seems a little hard to imagine how Webb comes back. Rotator cuff surgery usually has a long recovery period, and there are never guarantees that the pitcher will regain his form. A tough story about one of the best sinker-ballers of his, or any other, generation.