Mired in the NL West cellar with a 26-40 record, not much has gone right for the Diamondbacks in 2010.
That's why any piece of good news is welcome, and the fact that ace Brandon Webb threw 75 pitches of a mound Wednesday has to be doubly welcome as the team has yet to recoup its $8.5 million investment in Webb on the year.
"Those first [pitches], I was a little discouraged," Webb told MLB.com. "For some reason, I don't even know what it was, I was still kind of short and cutting off in front and keeping it short in back. But the second set, I was just trying to keep everything long and really stretch out and reach out front, and it felt great. I went from being kind of discouraged to it went real good and I was real happy with it."
The right-hander hasn't thrown a major-league pitch since Opening Day of 2009, when he was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder bursitis. He's struggled to recover from surgery ever since, and had a setback earlier in the season when he had to rebuild his throwing motion after discovering he was throwing from too high an arm slot.
Webb will travel with the team and continue throwing bullpen sessions, eventually working his way to a minor league rehab assignment then joining the D-Backs.
While his return will be too late to help the struggling squad get into the playoffs, Webb will be pitching for a 2011 contract. How he performs down the stretch will dictate what his free agent market is.
-- Evan Brunell
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