Webb scratched with sore forearm

Updated: February 27, 2009, 3:25 PM ET
Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona ace Brandon Webb was scratched from his first spring start Friday because of a sore right forearm.

Webb threw off flat ground Friday morning and said his arm felt better than it had the previous day, and he expects to make his next scheduled start March 4 against Mexico in Tucson.

"I ended up throwing and felt not 100 percent but 80 percent better than I did yesterday," Webb said. "I flipped some curveballs and changeups today, too."

Webb said he would test his arm by throwing off the bullpen mound Sunday.

He said the forearm stiffened as he ended a bullpen session this week.

"It was pretty stiff yesterday, so I just went into (manager Bob Melvin) and told him I don't know if I'll be able to make the start. Can we push it back a day?" Webb said before the Diamondbacks met the Chicago White Sox at Tucson Electric Park.

Newly acquired Jon Garland started in Webb's place against the White Sox, for whom Garland pitched from 2000-07.

Melvin said he saw no reason to rush Webb, who has pitched at least 208 innings each of the last five seasons. Webb won the 2006 NL Cy Young Award and finished second each of the last two years.

"Really and truly based on how he felt today, we could have started him but it didn't make any sense to because we are in camp," Melvin said. "To an extent, getting him started is more of a concern to me than having him to back him out. I don't see it as an issue at all."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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