PHOENIX -- Less than a week after making his first start for Triple-A Sacramento, Logan Webb is preparing for his Major League debut.
Webb will be called up to pitch against the D-backs on Saturday, giving the Giants their first look at the 22-year-old right-hander, who is the club’s No. 5 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. Webb logged a 2.18 ERA over eight appearances for Double-A Richmond this season before being promoted to Sacramento, where he fired seven innings of one-run ball in his Triple-A debut on Monday.
“He was throwing the ball well down in Richmond,” manager Bruce Bochy said Friday. “I thought he did a nice job in his start up there for Sacramento, so we’re going to slot him in.”
A fourth-round pick of the Giants in 2014, Webb earned an invitation to big league camp during Spring Training and was expected to rise quickly through the system after opening the season at Richmond. But he had made only five starts at Double-A when he received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
When the suspension was announced in May, Webb released a statement in which he insisted that he didn’t know how the substance entered his system, saying, “I know in my heart that something someday will be put into the world to prove my innocence.”
“I’ll never shake it, honestly,” Webb said Friday. “It’s something I’ll kind of have to deal with forever, unless something comes out. Until that day, I’ve got to cope with it and deal with it. Just keep going forward.”
Webb continued to work out during the layoff, throwing simulated games and collaborating with the Giants’ pitching coordinators at their Minor League complex in Scottsdale. He returned from the suspension in late July and made three more starts for Richmond before being elevated to Sacramento last week.
“That’s a pretty big setback,” Bochy said. “I didn’t know when that happened that he would be up here, but credit to him how he’s put that behind him and bounced back.”
Webb, who grew up in Rocklin, Calif., said he was nervous before his first start for the River Cats, but he credited former Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, now a roving instructor for the organization, with helping to put him at ease.
“Vogy was down there, and he was talking to me the whole time, saying, ‘This is the same thing that you’ve been doing your whole entire career. Just keep those nerves calm,’” Webb said. “He could tell at the beginning I was nervous walking over to the bullpen. After I got after the first out, it went back to being normal.”
• Johnny Cueto gave up one run on four hits over 2 2/3 innings for Class A Advanced San Jose on Thursday. Cueto struck out two, walked none and threw 49 pitches in his third rehab start as he works his was back from Tommy John surgery. Bochy said Cueto will pitch again for San Jose on Tuesday in Modesto and will likely make at least one Triple-A start after that. The 33-year-old veteran right-hander is expected to rejoin the Giants’ rotation in September.