With righty long man Sean Gallagher struggling with command and apparently injured as well, the Padres moved him to the DL and called up Ryan Webb, his devastating slider, and his bizarrely ineffective mid-90’s heater.
Webb had thrown ten scoreless innings in Triple-A prior to his callup with a 10/2 K/BB ratio.
Webb threw a scoreless ninth with a big league tonight in his first appearance with San Diego this season, allowing a double to Kaz Matsui, but no other baserunners. He didn’t strike anyone out. Webb needed 19 pitches to get through the inning.
Webb appeared to be working on the fastball today, as he only threw one changeup and didn’t go to the slider at all. His fastball hit 97 on his first two pitches and was at 95-96 the rest of the inning. Obviously, it’s way too early to tell if the pitch is going to be effective, but it’s encouraging Webb didn’t get knocked around. I don’t think he should eschew the slider like this in key situations, but he threw it more than the fastball last year, so I’m not worried that he doesn’t understand that.
We’ll see if Webb can become a consistent bullpen contributor, and another guy who will make the transition away from Heath Bell easy on the Padres.