Webb wants to pitch games, would relieve

NEW YORK -- Rangers' right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb threw 72 pitches in the visiting bullpen at Yankee Stadium and was pleased with the results. He said he hopes to go to Arizona this week to pitch in one or two extended spring games before going to Double-A Frisco or Triple-A Round Rock to pitch in games. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and pitching coach Mike Maddux, along with the training staff, will discuss things first before making any decisions.

Webb, a former Cy Young Award winner, knows the starting pitchers are performing well right now for the Rangers. If that's still the case in four to six weeks, when he could possibly be ready to pitch again, Webb said he'd go to the bullpen if needed.

"I would do it, for sure," Webb said. "I would rather start, but if it's a chance to pitch, I'd do it. Once I'm ready to go, we'll evaluate it then and see where I fit in."

Webb said he pitched in relief in his first outing in 2003 to "get my feet wet." And he's relieved in All-Star Games, but other than that, he's been starter.

Webb said he threw all of his pitches during Sunday's session and that he had some trouble early with his location, but found it halfway through and felt very good. He was working on fastball command, but threw some curves and changeups from the stretch and windup.

"You can ask the trainers, they say, 'You have the strongest arm on the team for sure,'" said Webb, referencing all the strength work he's done on it. "There's definitely light at the end of the tunnel."

Webb has dealt with injuries for two years and hasn't really pitched in many "game-like" situations, so the club will want to see how he responds and be sure he progresses. But Webb certainly feels like he's taking steps in the right direction and moving the timetable along.