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Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Brandon Webb could start in Frisco Monday

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb is scheduled to throw a bullpen session at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday and if all goes well would head to Double-A Frisco for a rehab start Monday.

Webb, who is trying to return from shoulder debridement surgery performed Aug. 3, 2009 by Rangers physician Dr. Keith Meister, pitched six innings in an extended spring game Tuesday and had six strikeouts, no walks and hit two batters while allowing one run. He threw 79 pitches and said he felt he got stronger as the game went along and that his curveball was improved. Webb's velocity was at 84 mph, and he and the Rangers hope that by competing against some minor league hitters in games he can bring that velocity up.

Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine said on ESPN 103.3 FM during Tuesday's rain delay that the club doesn't think Webb has to hit the low 90s on his fastball, but if he's around 88 mph that would give him enough of a difference between that fastball and sinker and the changeup to make him effective. Webb's sinker and ability to locate is what made him the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner and an All-Star in 2007 and 2008. He was never a particularly hard thrower.

Once Webb goes on the Frisco roster, he can rehab in the minors for 30 days. So he gets at least five starts before he'd hopefully be ready to join the club. The Rangers aren't in any rush, wanting to be sure Webb is completely ready. It helps that the starting rotation has done a solid job so far, meaning Webb can take his time and keep trying to progress to the majors again.

We'll update you on his bullpen session Friday and how he does on Monday, should he start as planned in Frisco.