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By Paul Francis Sullivan (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @sullybaseball
Brandon Webb is retiring from major league baseball, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. This hardly seems like a monumental announcement this spring. Webb has been out of sight and out of mind since the beginning of the 2009 season. His official retirement notice is reminiscent of a band announcing their breakup long after they had their last hit.
But Brandon Webb’s career, brief as it was, was remarkable and also should be remembered the next time an ace pitcher looks for a long term extension.
As outlandish as it may sound now, Brandon Webb was putting together the beginning of a Hall of Fame career. This is not hyperbole.
The former University of Kentucky star was an 8th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000.
He shot up through Arizona’s farm system and by 2003, the 24 year old Webb was a major leaguer and finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year vote. He posted a 2.84 ERA over 180 2/3 innings, winning 10 games for an Arizona squad that finished third in the National League West.
By 2006, he became an elite pitcher. He led the league in wins, shutouts and ERA+ and had the top WAR for pitchers. He won the National League Cy Young Award and looked like he was just getting warmed up. Read the rest of this entry