Webb gives Rays 'a ground-ball guy'

President of baseball ops Silverman appreciates what righty brings to club

February 20th, 2016

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Ryan Webb is known for being a ground-ball pitcher. Just don't ask the right-hander about it.

"I'm a strikeout pitcher. I don't know where this came from," Webb said with a smile.

Rays complete deal with reliever Webb

The numbers tell the story. In 50 2/3 innings while pitching for the Indians in 2015, Webb had just 31 strikeouts. He also came through with a 59.2 percent ground-ball rate, including 10 that were converted into double plays.

Webb is "a guy who gives us a little bit of a different look," said Matt Silverman, Rays president of baseball operations. "A ground-ball guy. And we haven't had someone like that in a couple of years. That's a nice element to have."

Spring Training info

Not since Burke Badenhop produced a ground-ball rate of 52.9 percent in 2012 have the Rays had such a weapon in their bullpen.

How does Webb do it?

"Sinkerball," Webb said. "I'm not going to give away my whole repertoire. I might come with something new this year. I try to keep the ball on the ground, in the ballpark, all that cliche stuff."

Webb noted that he "really did work hard this offsason" to make some mechanical corrections and "be quick to the plate."

"I really made sure I had my offspeed stuff working coming into spring," he said. " ... I feel like I'm more prepared this spring than I have been the past couple, and I'm going to take a little more of an aggressive approach and see where it takes me."

Webb, 30, went 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA in 40 games for the Indians in 2015. In his seven-year Major League career, he has also spent time with the Padres, Marlins and Orioles, compiling a 17-18 record with a 3.35 ERA in 357 career appearances.