In a season where the Giants are in last place of the NL West through the first month of year and the team's top two prospects are already on the injured list, Wednesday's news was another punch to the gut.
Logan Webb, the Giants' No. 2 pitching prospect, was suspended 80 games after testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing substance.
"He's a really good kid," Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Wednesday night on KNBR. "It's obviously disappointing to see."
Webb declared his innocence through a statement, saying he doesn't know how the PED entered his system.
"For the past month and a half I have tried endlessly to find the answer to why the M4 metabolite was found in my urine sample. I have done research, I have talked to people who know a lot more about it than I do, and I have sent in an endless amount of supplements and products for testing that I have used over the past couple years," Webb said. "Unfortunately, none of those things have helped me find that answer, and the time for me to find the reason that this has happened has run out. I know in my heart that something someday will be put into the world to prove my innocence.
"That being said, I do not disagree with MLB’s policy, and respect the drug testing system that has been put in place. I love this game and respect it too much to ever cheat it. I am heartbroken over this and I am not sure why this is happening to me, but in life some things happen for a reason and it is my job now to find that reason."
Zaidi says Webb was genuine in his stance on the situation when they spoke, and further detailed the testing process.
"You just don't know what happens with some of these guys -- you don't know what goes into their bodies at certain periods of times," Zaidi said. "Speaking to him and his representation, they genuinely don't know how it happened. My concern with that is we just want to make sure it doesn't happen even if they believe it was something that was without malicious intent or trying to cheat."
As far as Webb's production on the field, the Giants couldn't be happier with the 22-year-old. The right-hander from Rocklin has really impressed the last two seasons. He had a 1.82 ERA over 21 appearances in High-A with the San Jose Giants last year before earning a promotion to Double-A Richmond for his final six starts.
Through five starts in Double-A this season, he's been nothing short of phenomenal. Webb is 1-2 with a 2.00 ERA and has 31 strikeouts over 27 innings for the Flying Squirrels.
RHP Logan Webb through three starts: 16IP 14H 5ER 6BB 12K. He was 93-95 FB today.— GPT (@giantsprospects) April 18, 2019
Video of two strikeouts from today's appearance: pic.twitter.com/56Y9BWfGRJ
While he won't be with his Richmond teammates for quite some time, the Giants are making sure Webb still gets his work in.
"As far as development goes, he's gonna go back to Arizona," Zaidi said. "He's allowed to continue to work out at our facility. We are allowed to have him pitch in extended spring training games, which is really nice. He'll be able to stay game ready even before the suspension is over."
Once his suspension ends, Zaidi and the Giants still have big plans for the former fourth-round draft pick this season.
"He'll miss time but he'll at least be able to stay in pitching shape and continue to pitch competitively in games," Zaidi said. "We're hoping that he still has a chance to work his way up to Triple-A by the end of the season."
All Webb and the Giants can do at this point is move forward and get back to work. He's made leaps and bounds the last two seasons on the mound, and that can't stop now.