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Webb Feeling Stronger, Making Progress



    Webb Feeling Stronger, Making Progress
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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.

    Brandon Webb threw more pitches this time and was still feeling good.

    Webb threw 46 pitches Tuesday in another bullpen session for the Texas Rangers, the second time in three days the former NL Cy Young Award winner threw off the mound.

    "Good, I came out real good. I felt strong. I feel like the velocity is there," Webb said. "Better than last time, which is good. ... Came out of it fine, still felt strong at the end."

    After throwing a bullpen session on the first day of spring training, the Rangers had Webb go through an extended program to build arm strength. The right-hander, who hasn't pitched in a major league game since the 2009 opener for Arizona because of shoulder surgery, said that has made a big difference.

    "He's trying to get it together. From the first time I've seen him until today, it's progress," manager Ron Washington said. "That's what we're looking for, just progress. He kept the ball down better, he was more consistent with his release point."

    The next step is more of the same for Webb. He is to throw long tosses off flat ground Wednesday, then get back on the mound Thursday. He will do that a couple of more times before throwing live batting practice and then getting into a spring training game.

    Webb threw 18 pitches more than he did Sunday, which was his first time on a mound in 10 days. Though he still feels is trying to feel right on the mound, he said his changeup and curveball were good in his latest session.

    "Still a little inconsistent mechanically," he said. "On a mound, that's where I want to put my work into it, most of, and that's where I'm going to get my feel and all that."

    Webb threw more than 200 innings in five consecutive seasons before getting hurt. He had surgery in August 2009, then missed all of last season after trying to come back too quickly last spring with the Diamondbacks. He can already tell a huge difference in how he feels.

    "Oh yeah, I've got no issues right now. None," Webb said. "(Last spring), I wasn't able to get anything out of my throwing because it didn't feel good. I'm able to get stuff out of my long toss, because I can stay out there and do it, get stuff done, bring stuff away from the mound because I'm able to go out and repeat stuff, and throw normally."