PHOENIX -- For the first time since undergoing right shoulder surgery in August, D-backs ace Brandon Webb threw a baseball on Wednesday. Webb played catch with a football to get loose for about 15 minutes and then spent another 15 minutes throwing a baseball from around 60 feet. "No problems and no pain," Webb told MLB.com. "I was very encouraged."
Webb's throwing session came less than a week after the D-backs exercised his $8.5 million contract option for next season. The right-hander, who won the National League Cy Young Award in 2006 and finished second in the balloting in '07 and '08, made just one start last season before suffering from discomfort in his right shoulder. After trying to rehab his shoulder for several months, Webb finally underwent a minor surgery on Aug. 4 and the D-backs have gotten positive reports on him since then. "There's risk in everything," D-backs GM Josh Byrnes said after the announcement that the club was picking up Webb's contract option. "With the last three months, I think some of the risk has been reduced because the surgery went well and Webby's really responded well. I think there's a lot of reward. I mean you're talking about one of the best pitchers in baseball, so as we made that decision, in our mind the reward was greater than the risk." Webb will throw lightly a few more times before shutting it down until he begins he usual preparations for Spring Training.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.