Logan Webb won’t pitch again in 2022.
Webb, 25, made a career-high 32 starts — currently the most in the majors — and posted a 2.90 ERA. The righty broke out in the second half of 2021 and pitched even better this season.
Webb’s next turn in the rotation would have been Sunday, the Giants’ home finale, but San Francisco is instead placing the starter on the 15-day injured list. With the Giants officially eliminated from the playoffs, it makes more sense to protect the pitcher than push him.
Webb will finish with career-bests in ERA, innings, starts and wins. When asked to sum up Webb’s season, Giants manager Gabe Kapler called it “outstanding.”
“Durable, consistent,” Kapler added. “Some big leaps forward from a leadership perspective. Earned the respect of all of his teammates and coaches. Just an A+ season all the way around.”
Internal discussion about possibly shutting down Webb began a couple weeks ago, but the Giants won 10 of 11 games, fending off mathematical elimination. Webb made a couple starts on a pitch limit, including taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning in Coors Field, but knew this day could come. Had the Giants stayed alive, Kapler said they may have moved back Webb’s start to the upcoming series in San Diego.
Kapler informed Webb that he’d be shelved shortly after San Francisco’s 8-4 loss to the Diamondbacks in the tunnel to the dugout. Their brief conversation ended with a fist bump.
Webb will go on the injured list with minor back stiffness, but the decision was made primarily to manage his overall workload. Despite pitching 192.1 innings, 44 more than his prior regular-season high, he said he feels physically healthy enough to pitch.
“I feel kind of bad I’m not going to be able to pitch for the guys who are going to keep playing,” Webb said.
SF will recall Sean Hjelle to help cover innings. Co-ace Carlos Rodón is still expected to make his final start of the year on Tuesday against the Padres, Kapler said.
As of Saturday, Webb pitched the 11th most innings in baseball while registering the 14th best ERA.
Webb had pegged 200 innings as a goal, but also said that it’s important for him to be smart so he can reach 200 frames for the next 10 years.
“We’re just sort of balancing, again, what we need this season and protecting Webby for subsequent seasons,” Kapler said.
Always his toughest critic, Webb described his individual season as “decent.”
“Personally, I wish I did a little bit better,” Webb said. “Had some other goals I kind of wanted to get to. But it’s also a part of the reason I think they thought it was a good idea to shut it down, because those goals are important for the coming years also. Not just this year.”
Asked specifically about what he hopes to improve on, Webb said he hasn’t pinpointed anything yet. He added there are some mechanical things that could be cleaned up.
Webb, who is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, is one of the Giants’ franchise cornerstones. The former fourth round pick from the 2014 draft went 11-3 during San Francisco’s franchise-record 107-win season last year, endured the team’s struggles of 2022 and will be around for whatever comes next.
“I feel like we were very streaky this year, but we’ve had spurts like what we’ve done that past 12 days where we’ve played really good baseball,” Webb said.
“We all know we’re capable of it. The year before, we won 107 games. So it’s not like it’s that far-fetched to say that everyone in here believes we should be a playoff team. So, maybe coming back next year and try to prove people wrong. I think we did that last year. Maybe keep our foot on the gas is something that we need to bring from the start next year.”