By Nick Zeller-Singh
Special to the S.F. Examiner
24-year-old Logan Webb has shined amongst the best spring training arms in the first few weeks.
The San Francisco Giants’ pitcher has started three games so far, pitching six innings and allowing two hits. Besides shutting bats down, Webb has surpassed expectations in Scottsdale.
“He’s been really impressive in this camp because he is doing exactly what we have hoped,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We prompted him to use his secondary weapons with the same level of confidence as he uses his fastball because it has chances of being elite pitches.”
Webb’s main secondary pitch is the changeup. Last season, his changeup lacked consistency, location, and confidence. However, the California native continuously worked on the pitch during the offseason and spring. In his three appearances, Webb has not changed the approach, only threw it more.
“It’s not changing it, it’s more just throwing it.,” Webb said about his changeup. “ I’m trying to be more consistent with it, knowing what I want to do with it, and knowing where I want to throw it. The big thing is throwing it for strikes, that’s a huge thing I’ve been trying to do.”
Webb’s pitching arsenal lands multiple strikes in each at-bat. Currently, Webb’s strike zone seems larger than the skyscrapers in downtown San Francisco. In six innings pitched, he earned 10 strikeouts, including four in one inning. His strikeouts by changeups mesh well with his belief in pitching counts.
“My main thing is trying to get ahead,” Webb said. “Once you get that second strike, then you can go for the strikeout. After strike two, I was like let’s go get another one.”
In Webb’s last outing, he picked up five strikeouts in the first six outs. When the batter fell down two strikes, Webb made them look foolish. While some batters gazed at the third strike in awe, others reached ferociously, adding to Webb’s highlights.
Although Webb’s strikeouts make him a candidate for a rotation spot, he realizes his work is not over in the spring. He plans to work on first-pitch strikes so he can build his chances to become a crucial part of the Giant’s rotation.
“It’s something we’ve preached a lot. I don’t know how many I got today but there were a couple that I missed and I’m kind of pissed off about that,” Webb said after his March 13th appearance.
Although Webb has controlled the tempo of games, he must continue to amaze Kapler and the Giants’ staff. However, if he keeps up the domination, the major leagues should watch out for the next great Giants’ pitcher.