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Webb Takes Another Step Toward Return

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Webb Takes Another Step Toward Return

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Brandon Webb #33 of the Texas Rangers gets ready to deliver a pitch at Surprise Stadium on February 18, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona.

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When Brandon Webb was acquired in the off-season, Texas Rangers fans began to think they would have a replacement for the departed Cliff Lee. After all, Webb won a Cy Young award just a few short years ago and had two runner-up finishes in the voting while dominating for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

That was not a good mindset to have regarding Webb, who hadn't pitched in two years after having shoulder surgery and entered the season as a massive wild card to even make it back to the big leagues. If he were to make it, and regain his form, then the Rangers would be in business.

On Monday in Frisco, Webb took another step closer toward returning to the majors when he threw 3 1/3 innings in a rehab start for the RoughRiders.

If the rehab start showed anything, it was that while it is a step forward, there's still a long way to go for Webb to get to the point where he can contribute to a big league club.

Webb's fastball topped out at 85 mph, a touch up from his fastballs in the spring but still a few ticks short of acceptable. Webb makes his living off his sinker and had that working from time to time.

We've been saying it since the spring, Webb will be fortunate to hit Arlington by the All-Star break if everything goes well. So be patient, set low expectations and cross your fingers that he'll return to form.

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