Why Giants' Logan Webb will be shut down, miss final 2022 start

Why Giants are shutting down Webb ahead of final 2022 start originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the second straight year, Logan Webb was scheduled to pitch the Giants' final home game of the regular season at Oracle Park, but there will be no magical finish this time around.

A few minutes after an 8-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks that officially eliminated the Giants from the postseason race, manager Gabe Kapler announced that Webb will be shut down and will go on the IL with lower back tightness. Webb has thrown 192 1/3 innings this year, about 30 more than his previous career-high. The Giants want to manage his overall workload, Kapler said.

"We're just sort of balancing what we need this season and protecting Webby for subsequent seasons," Kapler said.

The Giants actually started that process a couple of weeks ago, most notably when Webb threw just 66 pitches at Coors Field despite allowing just one hit. He has been on an innings count ever since, but a funny thing happened as the Giants tried to keep an eye on their young co-ace.

"We kept winning," Webb said.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers kept losing. After falling well out of the Wild Card race in early September, the Giants never expected to be alive on the first day of October, but their elimination number stayed at two for most of this homestand. That put the staff in an odd spot.

Kapler hinted before Saturday's game that Webb likely would be shut down if the Giants were eliminated. The staff had even discussed pushing him back from Sunday to Monday, which would allow two more Giants games, three Phillies games and two Brewers games to provide more clarity.

The Phillies lost Saturday morning, but the Giants couldn't keep up with the Diamondbacks, bringing an official end to their playoff push. As Webb met with family members after the game, Kapler pulled him aside and delivered the news.

Webb will go on the IL before Sunday's game, allowing the Giants to add one more pitcher -- likely Sean Hjelle -- for their final four games. Kapler anticipates Carlos Rodón and Alex Cobb making their final starts, but the other two games will be pitched by the bullpen.

Webb will finish with career-bests in most categories, including starts (32), innings (192 1/3), wins (15), ERA (2.90) and strikeouts (163). He has said several times in recent weeks that 200 innings is a goal, but the restrictions kept him from getting there.

Webb followed his breakout year with an even better one and will be a building block moving forward, but he said he won't rest on what he accomplished in 2022.

"Personally I wish I did a little bit better," Webb said. "I had some other goals that I kind of wanted to get to, but that's also part of the reason why I think they think it's a good idea to shut it down, because those goals are important for the coming years also, not just this year. Overall, I thought it was decent. There were some things I wish I probably did a little bit better."

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Kapler said he knew the decision would be hard on Webb, a local who cherishes every chance to start in front of the home fans. But he didn't want Webb to be down about how any part of his season went.

"Outstanding. Durable. Consistent," Kapler said of Webb's 2022. "(He made) some big leaps forward from a leadership perspective and earned the respect of all of his teammates and coaches. It's just an A-plus season all the way around."

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