The Diamondbacks will be without right-hander Brandon Webb, their most instrumental
player, until at least June.
Webb felt tightness while playing catch and did not throw a scheduled bullpen session Friday afternoon, and manager Bob Melvin said later that Webb will not throw for the next three weeks.
"He'll do nothing for a week and do strengthening for the next two weeks," said Melvin, adding that he does not expect Webb to undergo further testing after an April 10th MRI showed fluid in the shoulder, but no structural damage.
"Once you're shut down for three weeks, it's like starting over," agreed D-backs
player personnel director A.J. Hinch.
That will take Webb to May 15th, and since he basically will be starting over in his throwing program, he is not expected to make another start until sometime in June. He felt soreness in his right shoulder in the season opener April 6th, when he gave up six runs and six hits in four innings of a no-decision against Colorado, and has been on the disabled list since.
Webb threw a 33-pitch bullpen session Tuesday and reported no pain.
"We didn't expect this (Friday)," Melvin said. "He's a guy we are going to be careful with. We are not going to push him to see if he can throw through it. He's too important for us to try to push something like that."
Webb led the NL with 22 victories last season and has finished second, second, and first in the last three NL Cy Young Award votes.
Webb had agreed to a $54 million contract extension last summer pending a physical exam, but the deal was pulled off the table when the D-backs' insurance carrier found what it believed was irregularities in Webb's right shoulder.
-- RHP Yusmeiro Petit will remain in the starting rotation in RHP Brandon Webb's absence and is expected to make his third start of the season Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs. Petit has given up five earned runs in 10 innings in his two starts.
-- OF Eric Byrnes, a late addition to the lineup when Conor Jackson was scratched due to illness Friday, seems to be finding himself. He has four hits, including two doubles and a home run, in 11 at-bats in his last three starts, two in left field and one in right. His double in the third inning Friday hit off the top of the fence in left, and Melvin argued for a home run before replay was used to keep it a double.
-- The D-backs have struck out 25 times against San Francisco RHP Tim Lincecum in 16 innings this season after fanning 12 times Friday, and he has limited them to one run. They entered Friday's game with the lowest batting average in the major leagues, .226, and scored their only run on LHP Doug Davis' RBI-single. Lincecum is 4-1 with 75 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings in eight career starts against the D-backs.
-- The D-backs, coming off their first series victory of the season after taking the rubber game of a series against Colorado on Wednesday, have not won back-to-back games this year. They are 6.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West less than three weeks into the season. .
DIAMOND STAT: .293 -- The Diamondbacks' team on-base percentage entering play Sunday. It is the lowest mark in the majors.
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