Thursday, April 10, 2014

Oriole #973- Ryan Webb

The fourth Orioles debut in the second game of the season, and to date, most recent player to appear in his first game in the orange and black, Ryan Webb became the 973rd player to appear in a game for the O's when he came out of the bullpen on April 2nd against the Red Sox.

Webb's debut was pretty rocky, as he allowed three hits and two earned runs while walking one and one strikeout in just .2 innings in the O's second game of the season. He made his debut in the 7th inning of that game, in which the Birds were already losing, so it wasn't a huge deal, but still not a great start for the biggest free agent addition to the 'pen. This is his sixth MLB season, and he had previously appeared in 266 National League games for the Padres and Marlins, so there is still plenty of time to turn things around.

Since his debut, he has appeared in two more games, one of which was another rocky outing against the Tigers (2 ER in 1.2 IP), and his first clean outing in which he held the Yankees hit-less over 1.1 IP and struck out two. His ERA has dropped from 27.00 to 15.43 to 9.82 so it's slowly sliding back down into respectable territory. His career ERA prior to the season was 3.29 and the sinker-baller has only given up 14 HR over 276 IP, so he is a pretty safe bet in the late innings. 

However, one thing I noticed during Spring Training this year was that Buck Showalter seemed to actually be using Ryan in the late innings of games throughout the Spring, which is strange because by that point in the game, he was facing mainly minor leaguers and players fighting for roster spots. Generally pitchers who are guaranteed a bullpen role will appear in the middle innings to actually face Major League caliber hitters. Maybe it's nothing, but I found it interesting at least.

I obtained all three of these autographs back at Orioles Fanfest. Webb was one of the few players on the O's 25 man roster whose autograph I did not get on my Spring Training trip, though admittedly I wasn't specifically going for his autograph since I already had these three. The personalized OMC is heading for my collection while the other two are available for trade if anyone needs them.

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