Notes: Webb stays grounded
Ace's bread-and-butter sinker effective in first spring outing
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Brandon Webb's first outing of the spring on Thursday went very much according to plan.
A lot of sinkers and a lot of groundouts.
The 2006 National League Cy Young Award winner allowed one unearned run over two innings in Thursday's Cactus League opener against the White Sox. Webb threw 27 pitches in the game and another 10 afterward in the bullpen.
"It felt good to actually get some adrenaline going and go in a real game," Webb said. "We've been throwing a few bullpens and a couple of BP sessions, but it's totally different going out in a real game in real situations."
Five of the six outs Webb recorded came on the ground, with the other a strikeout of Jermaine Dye. Of the 27 pitches he threw, 26 were fastballs and one was a changeup.
"I'm just working on the fastball location," Webb said. "I just want to throw some strikes. I don't want to be falling behind just kind of fooling around with any changeups."
Good to see you: General manager Josh Byrnes, director of pro scouting Jerry DiPoto and farm director A.J. Hinch flew to California on Wednesday to meet with top draft pick Max Scherzer and his agent Scott Boras.
The meeting began at Boras' offices in Newport Beach and continued over dinner. Byrnes said the meeting was, "more oriented towards who we are than any hard and fast negotiation. It was a worthwhile trip."
Scherzer, who was taken with the 11th overall selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, is the only first-round pick to not have signed. The two sides have until 10 p.m. MST on May 31 to reach a deal or Scherzer will go back into the draft pool and the D-backs will be awarded a sandwich pick as compensation.
While Byrnes said the two sides didn't talk specifics with regards to numbers, they did make what they felt was a compelling case about their organization.
"We're pretty proud of who we are and what we can do to help pitchers develop and become Major Leaguers," Byrnes said. "I think a lot of it is just the synergy between front office and field staff. A former Major League pitcher [DiPoto], a former Major League catcher [Hinch] work in our front office that help us track things and oversee things from that respect. I think we surround the process about as well as we can."
Change in plans: Manager Bob Melvin tweaked his pitching schedule a bit due to the absence of closer Jose Valverde.
Valverde's wife gave birth to the couple's first child Wednesday night. The right-hander had been scheduled to throw in Thursday's game, but that will be pushed back to Saturday.
Game notes: The D-backs won the Cactus League opener, 8-5, over the White Sox.
"All and all pretty good," Melvin said. "We were aggressive -- running the bases hard, getting down the line, situational stuff was good, swung the bat well. We had the yips a little bit defensively. It seemed like they were taking some funny hops out there, but we weren't real crisp, especially early on."
Left-hander Evan MacLane impressed Melvin with his two scoreless innings. ... Outfielder Dave Krenzyl had an RBI single in the seventh. "Krenzyl impressed with a big at-bat right there," Melvin said. ... Infielder Augie Ojeda was injured while turning a sixth-inning double play. "He's got a cut on both sides of his knee, but won't need stitches," Melvin said. "Made some nice plays out there, got a bunt down, made an impression today."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.