Ailing Shoulder Jeopardizes Webb Extension

Workhorse Brandon Webb uncharacteristically missed a start due to a sore shoulder. Webb expects to be back for his next start, but this development reduces his chances of being offered another long-term contract extension by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Right-hander Brandon Webb expects to be available for his next scheduled start April 17 after missing one turn because of soreness in his right shoulder.

The $54 million contract extension that was pulled off the table last summer because the Diamondbacks could not find an insurance carrier to sign off on the deal after Webb took a physical examination last summer? It might not ever come back.

In the final stages of agreeing to a long-term extension last season, Webb underwent a physical exam in early June and was cleared by team physicians, including D-backs orthopedist Dr. Michael Lee. But when the D-backs attempted to buy insurance on the deal, companies would not sign off because of concerns about his right shoulder.

"They (insurance doctors) are not familiar with" the condition of a major league pitcher's shoulder, Webb said. "That's what is aggravating. They also said there was a tear in the rotator cuff. There is no tear there."

The D-backs pulled the deal off the table in late June before signing Dan Haren to a four-year, $44.75 extension on August 5th. Webb, 29, is to make $6.5 million this season, and the D-backs have a $10.5 million option for 2010. The D-backs have a $2 million buyout.

Webb met with arm specialist Dr. James Andrews in the offseason and said Andrews found nothing abnormal in his shoulder.

Webb was given an MRI Thursday after saying he had felt shoulder stiffness for a week and a half. He gave up six runs and six hits, including two home runs, in four innings of a no-decision in an opening-day start April 6th. He was scratched from Saturday's start two days later when the soreness lingered.

Dodgers 11, Diamondbacks 2: Yusmeiro Petit, filling in for the ailing Webb, retired the first 10 batters he faced before allowing ex-Snake Orlando Hudson to homer off him.  Petit would allow only three hits and three earned runs in five innings, but the bullpen got hit hard.  Billy Buckner and Juan Gutierrez combined to allow eight earned runs in less than two innings of work.  Eric Stilts and a trio of Dodger relievers combined to stymie the D-backs' offense, limiting them to two runs on six hits.


--Arizona has been chosen to host the 2011 All-Star Game at Chase Field. It will be the first All-Star game here since the Diamondbacks began play in 1998. "I'm excited. It's a long time coming," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "Our building can be shown off for the first time." The official announcement will come Saturday. U.S. Airways Arena, two blocks west of the stadium, was host to the 2009 NBA All-Star Game.

--The D-backs lost a series against Colorado for the first time since the final weekend of the 2007 season when the Rockies won the second and third games of the season-opening series that ended Wednesday. Arizona was 15-3 against Colorado and won all six series between the two in 2008. The D-backs clinched the NL West title when they beat Colorado on Sept. 28, 2007, but they lost the final two games of that series.

--After hitting five home runs and three doubles while accumulating 30 total bases in a 9-8 victory over Colorado in the season opener, the D-backs scored two runs on 10 hits in the next two games. SS Stephen Drew had the only extra-base hits, a double off RHP Ubaldo Jimenez in the sixth inning of a 3-0 loss Tuesday and a bases-empty homer off LHP Franklin Morales in a 9-2 loss Wednesday.

--Diamondbacks 2001 World Series hero Luis Gonzalez was given a nice ovation when he was introduced to the crowd attending the Colorado game Wednesday. Gonzalez, who left the team after the 2006 season, sat between D-backs CEO Derrick Hall and managing partner Ken Kendrick. Gonzalez, who hopes to play somewhere this season, has 596 career doubles, 15th in major league history and five behind Barry Bonds.

--The D-backs drew only 18,227 for a Wednesday afternoon game against Colorado, threatening the franchise home low of 18,030, set against San Diego on May 17, 2006, also a Wednesday.

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