Diamondbacks face early-season life without Webb

Arizona manager A.J. Hinch says there's an increasing chance that Brandon Webb will start the season on the disabled list.

Webb reached what Hinch called a “plateau” in his comeback from surgery on his right shoulder. He has not thrown a bullpen session for a week after saying he felt “stagnant” and was not making the progress he expected.

Since then, the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner has only been playing catch. Hinch said Thursday that Webb felt the best he has all camp after Wednesday’s throwing session, and a flat-ground bullpen outing could be scheduled soon.

“It’s getting fairly obvious that it’s going to be difficult to get him ready for the season,” Hinch said, “but I don’t think we’re to that date quite yet. But again, I think the most important thing is to get him healthy.”

Webb tentatively had been penciled in as the team’s No. 3 starter with his first outing on April 7.

Hinch still expects Webb to pitch in a game situation during spring training.

“Just because he’s delayed and we had to take a little bit of a stop doesn’t mean he’s shut down,” he said. “He’s throwing. ... You never know when it’s going to click for him and he’s going to feel better. This might be all he needed was a couple of days’ breather.”

Webb never had a significant injury before the shoulder problem, pitching more than 200 innings in each season from 2004 through 2008. He led the NL in victories when he went 22-7 in 2008.

The right-hander didn’t throw on Thursday and will toss again on flat ground today. Hinch hopes Webb can resume bullpen sessions after that.

Giles calls it a career

Brian Giles says the pain in his arthritic right knee is getting worse, and the 39-year-old outfielder informed the Los Angeles Dodgers that he will retire.

Giles is a career .291 hitter with 287 home runs and 1,078 RBI in 1,847 games. The two-time All-Star also played for the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland, calling his trip to the World Series with the Indians in 1997 the highlight of his 15 major-league seasons.

Giles signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers this winter with an invitation to major-league camp in Glendale, Ariz.

Helton gets extension

First baseman Todd Helton and the Colorado Rockies agreed to $9.9 million, two-year contract extension through the 2013 season.

The first baseman is earning $16.6 million this year, and agreed to defer $13.1 million of his $19.1 million salary in 2011 over a 10-year period beginning in 2014.

Colorado had a $23 million option for 2012 with a $4.6 million buyout as part of the $141.5 million, nine-year contract that began with the 2003 season. Instead, he will receive $4.9 million in 2012 under the new deal.

Short hops

New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes has been told to rest and refrain from athletic activity until his thyroid levels normalize. The team says Reyes, diagnosed with an overactive thyroid, could miss up to eight weeks. … Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario has been unable to secure a visa for the 2010 season and remains in his native Venezuela. Belisario had the same issue last year and missed two weeks of camp. … Former Cuban national team member Leslie Anderson, a 27-year-old first baseman-outfielder, has agreed in principle to a contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. … Left-handers Eddie Guardado and Shawn Estes, two former Seattle Mariners, have been released by the Washington Nationals in the first round of cuts.