Webb the runner-up in 2023 NL Cy Young Award race

November 16th, 2023

A career year for Giants right-hander culminated in a second-place finish in the 2023 National League Cy Young Award voting, which was announced Wednesday on MLB Network. 

Webb finished runner-up to left-hander Blake Snell, who became the seventh pitcher to win the prize in both leagues following his dominant season for the Padres. D-backs right-hander Zac Gallen placed third.

Webb, a first-time finalist for the prize, drew one first-place vote and 17 second-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America electorate, tallying a total of 86 points.  

The Giants have not had a Cy Young winner since Tim Lincecum captured the award in back-to-back seasons in 2008-09, though Webb has the potential to become a perennial contender after establishing himself as one of the premier workhorses in the Majors in 2023.

The Rocklin, Calif., native led the Majors with a career-high 216 innings while logging a 3.25 ERA over 33 starts, two of which were complete games The 26-year-old was one of only five starters to reach the 200-inning threshold this past season and became the first Giants pitcher to lead the Majors in innings since Gaylord Perry in 1970.

Armed with an elite sinker-changeup combination, Webb posted an MLB-best 62.7% ground-ball rate and an NL-best 3.7% walk rate, allowing him to consistently pitch deep into games and limit damage.

“I feel like I was always kind of chasing strikeouts or trying to throw as hard as I can,” Webb said Wednesday on MLB Network. “I had a good group in San Francisco that kind of taught me how to use my repertoire. It ended up being my changeup. Trying to find ways to make it better and throw that as much as I can -- that was huge for me.”

Webb has credited pitching coaches Brian Bannister and Andrew Bailey with helping him develop in recent years, though neither will be back with the Giants next season. Bannister left to become a senior advisor to pitching with the White Sox, while Bailey is reportedly on the verge of becoming the new pitching coach for the Red Sox.

The Giants announced Tuesday that former Reds manager Bryan Price will replace Bailey as the club’s pitching coach and work alongside new bullpen coach Garvin Alston and returnee J.P. Martinez. Webb said he’s eager to collaborate with the new pitching group and try to build on his success in 2024 and beyond. 

“I think the group I had before put me in a great spot,” Webb said on MLB Network. “Looking ahead to the group I have for these next couple of years, I’m very excited. There are some minor tweaks and some things that I’m excited to work on this offseason. Hopefully the sky’s the limit.”