Former D-backs pitcher Brandon Webb fielded questions from fans during a live online chat on Thursday. Webb will be making an appearance at the first-ever Alumni Game on Saturday following the 5:10 p.m. MST game vs. the Giants. Webb talked about his recovery and seeing his former teammates this weekend while giving some advice for young ballplayers.
Brandon_Webb: Hey everyone. Let's get this chat started. I'm looking forward to seeing all the guys this weekend!
scout01: Will you be pitching in the Alumni Game?
Brandon_Webb: As of right now, I don't know if I can, with my arm. I'm going to go to the workout on Saturday and see how that goes. I know everyone is going to ask that and some of the guys are asking. It's still up in the air. But if not, I'm going to manage. Assistant skipper, you can say.
buzzdennis: What up B-Webb?! Really happy to see you back in AZ, where you belong. What's your plan now? If you don't mind a suggestion, I think you should get into coaching that nasty sinker of yours.
Brandon_Webb: It's good to be back. We've pretty much made Arizona our full-time home now, with our kids going to school here. These days I'm just hanging out and being a normal dad and keeping busy around the house. As far as coaching goes, I haven't thought too much about that. I don't know that that's in the future. I'm just going to let it play out. This is the first year I haven't been playing or been trying to play so we'll take some time.
Via Twitter: @JimmyNova: The D-backs have a young, talented rotation. As someone who made an impact at young age, what advice would you give them? #WebbChat
Brandon_Webb: Keep working hard. It takes hard work and dedication to get to where they are, but you can't just think it's all easy now. The hardest part is staying in the big leagues. You have to continue to get people out and work in between the days when you're not throwing. You have to keep your stuff sharp.
mld84: Who out of the old teammates and coaches in AZ do you still speak with?
Brandon_Webb: I still talk-text back and forth with Bryan Price, who is currently the Reds pitching coach. I text with Bob Melvin from time to time. Mark Davis, my pitching coach in Double-A and he came up to the big leagues for a couple years, I still keep in contact with him. I stay in good contact with Matt Mantei, Steve Randolph, Andrew Good and Mike Gosling. Curt Schilling, I still text every now and then. Chris Snyder, Brandon Lyon and Chad Qualls, those are the main guys. I was just texting Lyon yesterday.
skaggsfan: What was your favorite ballpark on the road to pitch in?
Brandon_Webb: For a pitcher, the new San Diego stadium was by far the best pitcher's park. Some of the cool ones to go to were always Wrigley Field, with the atmosphere there. Old Yankee Stadium, Boston -- those places are just really cool because of the history behind those parks. A lot of the newer parks, all of them are nice. It's tough to choose now unless you're going with how good you've personally done there.
Via Twitter: @J_Ag: Do you foresee yourself in a broadcast booth in the future for a ballclub?
Brandon_Webb: I can definitely see that more so than coaching, and my wife is encouraging me to do something. That is something that would be pretty cool to do, so I'd say it's possible.
terrydunn: How is your arm progressing after surgery?
Brandon_Webb: It was going pretty good, but I just never could gain the velocity that I needed to get guys out at the level that I wanted to play at. It feels fine now, day to day. Totally normal.
everyname: Hey Brandon! Sorry to see that your arm is still giving you issues. You will always be a fan favorite in AZ. I sure miss all the old school guys. So cool you guys are getting back together this weekend. I wish you continued healing.
Brandon_Webb: Thanks so much ... I really appreciate the support.
Via Twitter: @STheKid19: Favorite teammate at the big league level? #WebbChat
Brandon_Webb: Probably Brandon Lyon. He's one of my better friends that's still playing right now.
mld84: The big question: will you be back on the mound? And, with what team?
Brandon_Webb: Oh, man. I haven't retired yet. But, I did stop throwing a couple months ago, so I don't know. I may pick up a ball this winter just to see where I'm at and go from there, but nothing as of right now. I'm just kind of hanging out. Nothing finalized yet.
Via Twitter: @DCers: Mr. Webb, what is your favorite MLB moment? #WebbChat
Brandon_Webb: The two big ones, personally, are winning the Cy Young in 2006, and then one of the coolest things I did was throwing 42 1/3 scoreless innings. That was a pretty huge thing.
terrydunn: Do you do any card shows for autographs? I have a Diamondbacks All-Star bat that is only missing your signature ... I have tickets for the game!
Brandon_Webb: I haven't done any in a long time. I probably will do some in the future, though. I was just out at Sanderson Ford signing autographs this past weekend, so keep in touch with the D-backs and they'll let you know when the next time is.
Via Twitter: @Rdizzlewhat: Trevor Cahill gets compared to you a lot by how he pitches. Do you see yourself in him? #WebbChat
Brandon_Webb: I've watched him a couple times. The game in San Francisco a couple starts ago. He's got heavy, heavy movement on that sinker. He definitely throws like me, for sure. I think he utilizes it really well and gets tons of ground balls, so in that aspect, I can see a little bit of myself in him.
dbackfan07: You doing any hunting back in Kentucky this year?
Brandon_Webb: Yeah! I'm going to go back for fall break and do some white tail deer hunting. I may try to get into something out here, some bigger game elk and mule deer. Stuff like that. I've never hunted out here, but I want to.
Via Twitter: @Fingaz09: What pitcher or player did you look up to as a young player learning the game? #WebbChat
Brandon_Webb: I grew up watching the Braves back in the 90s on TBS, so every night at 7:05 they were playing. They had one of the best pitching staffs in the game with Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Avery. All those guys I loved watching. It was Maddux's heyday. He was my favorite. At the time I didn't know, but he had a lot of movement on his ball. When I got to the big leagues, I tried to pitch like him and developed a lot of movement on the ball. I didn't accomplish anything near what he did, but I tried to pitch like him.
Via Twitter @Fill3Up: Brandon, what's your favorite band and why?
Brandon_Webb: Back in the day, I used to listen to The Why Store. Jupiter Coyote and Widespread Panic. Bands like that.
Via Twitter: @lindseypaige: Hi Brandon! Who was your biggest inspiration growing up, on field and off? #webbchat
Brandon_Webb: On field it was Greg Maddux, like I said. Also some of the Reds guys like Deion Sanders, doing what he did in both sports was pretty cool. I loved him. Obviously, I always looked up to my dad. He did a great job raising me and I've seen a lot of people pushing the sport on kids so hard that they burn them out and don't want to do it. My dad never did any of that. He was really supportive of everything I wanted to do. He never made me do it. Dads getting mad when their kids do bad, I don't ever remember him doing anything like that.
everyname: Who is the toughest hitter to face? Good luck with your healing Brandon, you will always be a fan favorite!
Brandon_Webb: The toughest guy I had to pitch against was Brad Hawpe with the Rockies. He absolutely had my number. I don't know what the numbers are, but they are probably pretty ridiculous. I don't know what it was. He was a good player, but Albert Pujols and people like that, I had a better time with him. Some guys just see pitchers better and he was the main one that sticks out in my mind.
buzzdennis: If called upon in this Alumni Game, you think you could pinch-hit?
Brandon_Webb: It depends on who is pitching. I think Fetters said he was definitely pitching a little bit. If he's throwing about 75, I could probably get him. You get a guy throwing some gas, I don't know how good of shape these guys are in. But I was a terrible a hitter, so I doubt they will look for me to pinch-hit.
warmat05: At what age do you think young pitchers should start throwing curve balls and more junk pitches?
Brandon_Webb: I don't know what they're recommending now. I started pitching when I was 10 and nobody ever said anything about throwing breaking balls early, so I just did it. But I never had elbow problems until I started throwing a ton of innings in the big leagues. I don't think it's necessary to throw them when you're 10 or 12. I think changing speeds with the fastball or changeup until you're 13 or 14 is plenty at that level to be able to succeed.
Via Twitter: @MrAaronRandall: Brandon, what was the first thought in your mind when you were called up to the big time? #WebbChat
Brandon_Webb: Excitement. I remember Al Pedrique was in Triple-A Tucson and he was the manager. He called me in and joked around because I wasn't doing that well. He said, "Hey, I know you don't want to do it, but they need a spot starter in Double-A, would you do it." I said, "Yeah, if they need it." He said, "I'm just kidding. You're going to Montreal." And it was just excitement to be able to finally fulfill that dream.
Via Twitter: @mhstang66: If you could pitch to any player in history, who would it be and why? #WebbChat
Brandon_Webb: Oh man. There are so many good hitters. Probably Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. Those would be the top two. But there were so many good players back then, it'd be fun to see how the game was back then. It's a totally different game now. It would be cool and interesting to see how it would be to face them.
terrydunn: What do you think about the innings limit being enforced upon Stephen Strasburg?
Brandon_Webb: I've thought about it both ways. I can see where they're coming from. Every pitcher is different and you'll never know whether it was the right move or not. It's going to happen or it's not. I would think he's fine now, especially with the elbow with the way it was the last few years, the way guys are coming back from that so quickly and even better. Just looking at where they are in the playoff race, they may not have another chance like this. They have an unbelievable pitching staff. You just never know and to take him out of the equation, one of the best pitchers in the league, it may hurt you or it may not. I respect Rizzo for sticking with it, though, because I'm sure he's caught a lot of heat from fans. I can see it both ways.
Via Twitter: @Marciano3366: What do you miss most about the game and will you be back? #webbchat
Brandon_Webb: Just being out there competing on the mound. Being a pitcher, I thought it was the best position. Just you and the hitter, one on one, until the ball's put in play. I miss the competition and camaraderie, being around the guys. That's something that I miss for sure. I haven't closed the door on coming back, so that's still to be determined.
mld84: When you're back in Phoenix, what are some things that you like to do while here? Where's the best place to eat?
Brandon_Webb: I just started mountain biking. I've had one for several years but never had it in the dirt, so I've actually been doing that a little bit. I like to go shooting, fishing, stuff like that. In terms of good places to eat, we like Olive and Ivy, Sapporo (the Japanese steakhouse) and Mrs. White's, for sure. We've been going to Matt's Big Breakfast Downtown. That's a good deal down there.
Brandon_Webb: That's all we have the time for, but thank you all for the support and we hope to see you this weekend at the Alumni Game on Saturday night. Thanks to those that submitted questions for today's #WebbChat Via Twitter.