NEW YORK — Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb had shoulder surgery Monday, putting an end to a difficult season for the usually durable right-hander.
Arizona was expected to be a playoff contender this year with Webb and Dan Haren at the front of its rotation. But Webb, who starred at Ashland Blazer and the University of Kentucky, never pitched again after a no-decision against Colorado on opening day and the Diamondbacks quickly fell off the pace in the NL West.
Until this season, Webb had made only one trip to the DL as a major leaguer, missing 15 days with right elbow tendinitis in 2003. The 30-year-old former Cy Young winner pitched more than 200 innings every season from 2004-2008.
Manager A.J. Hinch said he heard the surgery by Texas Rangers physician Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Texas, went well.
"They did a cleanup of his shoulder, didn't have to repair anything, and it sounds like it was good news for us," Hinch said before the Diamondbacks' game at the New York Mets. "We're anxious to get him on his rehab trail."
Hinch said Webb should be able to play catch in three to four months. Webb's agent, Jonathan Maurer, said in a text message that the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner will start throwing in October.
Webb decided against having surgery last month after meeting with several doctors, choosing a more conservative approach. At the time, he expressed hope he would pitch again this season.
"It's nice to know that it was obviously necessary to have the surgery but it wasn't such a massive situation," Hinch said. "It could've been a lot worse."
The surgery complicates Arizona's decision on whether to exercise its $8.5 million club option for Webb for 2010 or pay a $2 million buyout and allow him to become eligible for free agency. The Diamondbacks must make the decision shortly after the end of the World Series.
Webb won the Cy Young Award in 2006 and finished second each of the last two seasons. He won 56 games between 2006 and 2008, leading the Diamondbacks to the NL West title in 2007.