Logan Webb's season couldn't have started out much better. Back at Richmond where he finished last season, the No. 5 Giants prospect went 1-2 with a 2.00 ERA and 31 strikeouts over 27 innings in five April starts.Then he was hit with an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a
Logan Webb's season couldn't have started out much better. Back at Richmond where he finished last season, the No. 5 Giants prospect went 1-2 with a 2.00 ERA and 31 strikeouts over 27 innings in five April starts.
Then he was hit with an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. On May 1, he released a statement simultaneously asserting confusion (over how he could have tested positive) and respect and acceptance of Major League Baseball's decision.
Three months later, the humble right-hander has returned to Richmond, determined to get back to that April form, and beyond.
"I'm just trying to finish up strong," said the native of Rocklin, California. "I had a good start and I'm trying to get back to what I was doing at the beginning of the year."
The road back to Richmond was a bit quiet, starting in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he worked at the Giants facilities with coordinators and coaches, trying to keep that in-game feel as much as possible with live BPs and simulated games.
This allowed Webb to keep his pitching mentality intact, despite the lack of real game atmosphere he had become accustomed to every five days.
"You try to keep the same kind of adrenaline during those games, just to make sure when I came back it wasn't too much of an adjustment," he explained. "Overall, it's not too different. Obviously, there's no fans or anything, so you have to get the adrenaline on your own. It wasn't too big of an adjustment."
The time away provided Webb an opportunity to continue to work on mechanics and, most importantly, find more comfort in an off-speed offering that he continues to fine tune.
"I only threw it in certain situations before," he said of his changeup. "Now, I feel like I can throw in any situation. Obviously, I'm still working on it, still refining it. It's not a finished product or anything like that. I definitely feel a lot more comfortable with it now."
Webb finally got back to live-game action in mid-July, looking strong in five innings in the Rookie-level Arizona League before two more solid five inning outings at Class A Augusta.
He has since made two starts for the Flying Squirrels but was unable to make it five innings in either outing, allowing 12 hits and 5 walks along the way.
Despite those results, Webb is determined to use the last month of the season to make up for lost time.
"We're still working on some stuff," he said. "I definitely think the stuff we're working on is going to be better over the next month. I'm just excited to keep throwing, honestly."
In briefBats of stone:
After hitting just .208 in his first 41 games after being called up from Class A Advanced Salem, fourth-ranked Red Sox Jarren Duran has been on a tear. Over his past 14 games, the Portland Sea Dogs outfielder has a .417 batting average and has hit safely in all but one of those contests. During this stretch, Duran has nine multi-hit games, including his second four-hit effort since reaching Double-A. He has four doubles, six RBIs and 10 runs scored.Straight to the point:
In 20 of his 25 relief appearances for Altoona this season, Blake Cederlind
has kept the opposition off the board. The No. 29 Pirates prospect is 3-0 with three saves, a 1.62 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP over 39 innings with the Curve. The hard-throwing right-hander made seven appearances for Bradenton before a May callup and overall has a 1.54 ERA between the two levels this season, with 45 K's over 46 2/3 innings and only one home run yielded.Crooked bundles:
Erie's Isaac Paredes
has rolled his hot July finish right into August, extending his current hitting streak to eight games. The No. 5 Tigers batted .289 in July, finishing the month with four straight multi-hit games. He then opened August with back-to-back three-hit efforts. The SeaWolves infielder has collected six RBIs and scored four runs and has struck out only twice during his streak.
Craig Forde is a contributor to MiLB.com.