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Saturday, July 2, 2011
Will Brandon Webb pitch in bigs in '11?

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A somewhat discouraged Brandon Webb arrived in the Rangers' clubhouse Saturday to see team physician Dr. Keith Meister about his shoulder.

Webb was scratched from his Friday start at Triple-A Round Rock after feeling discomfort in the shoulder. He said it doesn't bother him when he does everyday activities, but it does on the mound.

"It hurts," Webb said. "I was like, 'I can't get anybody out with this.' It takes all my velocity away. It takes all my life away."

This latest setback is a reminder that Webb still isn't close to returning to the big leagues. So does the former Cy Young Award winner think he'll be pitching in the majors before 2011 ends?

"Who knows?" Webb said. "I have no idea. I don't know. It's real discouraging."

Webb said he felt some discomfort after his last start, when he was able to grind through five innings. He figured it might just take an extra day or two to go away, and in the days leading up to his Friday start he thought the normal soreness was gone. But as he warmed up in the bullpen, he felt it again. No one wanted to take any chances and he was told to see Dr. Meister to get an idea of what may be going on.

Webb knows he needs to prove he can stay healthy, pick up a few more ticks on the radar gun and get batters out. He must do that consistently over a long enough period of time before he can join the Rangers. Will that be this season? No one, including Webb, knows for sure.