Brandon Webb, Or Another Bounceback Groundball Guy


When I look at candidates to plug the big holes in the Colorado Rockies starting rotation, I find myself asking this question a lot: what do they have to lose? I included that question in Rox Pile content recently in which I considered Derek Lowe and Carlos Zambrano (yes, that Carlos Zambrano) as potential candidates. Truth be told, the risk with all of these “career reclamation” type guys is that they will flame out, not make the team, be a bust, etc. The Rockies can afford to take those chances.

Here is the most recent name that caught my attention. A hint: think “high groundball rate.”

Ah yes. Brandon Webb. His name might stay fresher in the minds of Colorado fans than it does among other fan bases because he tagged the Rockies for their only loss in the Rocktober winning streak (before the World Series, of course). It is amazing to think that he has not thrown a pitch in a Major League game in over three years, or since 2009’s opening day.

Coors Field fans are sure to remember Webb from the 2007 season. Image: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Coors Field fans are sure to remember Webb from the 2007 season. Image: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

At this point we do not know if the Rockies are among the interested teams. If they are (and they should be), it will presumably be because of familiarity and…say it with me…his career ground ball rate (3.56 ground ball to fly ball ratio and 64.2% ground ball percentage). Whether Webb would choose Colorado to try and make his comeback is another issue.

By the way, who do you think the only confirmed interested team is? The freakin’ Twins! Of course they are. Seriously guys, enough! Leave some average pitchers for the rest of the league!

As Drew Silva of Hardball Talk notes, the team that does take a chance on Webb will likely ink him to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League camp. That makes it low risk. How well he can return or how much durability he is able to show will determine whether or not Webb is low risk, low reward, or low risk, high reward.

Either way, you had me at “low risk” and “groundball rate.” The Rockies need to take a look at Brandon Webb.