Brandon Webb eyes next step

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Brandon Webb believes his third live batting practice session of the spring was the best yet.

Now he thinks he’s ready to take the next step.

“I’d like to get a 15-pitch inning, go sit down, get back up and do that deal,” said Webb, the former Cy Young winner who is working his way back from a two-year layoff due to arm problems. “Game situations a little bit different. The up and down part would be good. We can do that in a B game, sim game, minor league game. It doesn’t matter. The sooner I get in a game, we get going for real.”

Pitching coach Mike Maddux will ultimately make the decision on whether Webb will advance to game situations or throw another live batting practice session. Manager Ron Washington said that the Rangers first need to see how Webb recovers from this 62-pitch session.

“That’s good that he thinks that, because that means he’s progressing the way he feels that he should progress,” Washington said. “That’s something that we’ll discuss.”

Webb said he has felt minimal soreness since his Sunday session and that it was a lot easier to get loose Thursday than it had been the previous two times he threw live BP.

On Thursday, Webb thought his sinker had bite, his changeup was good with some nice action and his curveball was by far the best it’s been this spring. His only concern was that he had some control issues, which he attributed to timing with his arm and lower body.

“It’s just a tick of a second,” Webb said. “For a pitcher, that’s pretty much an eternity. It throws everything off.”

As has been the case all spring, the Rangers didn’t have a radar gun on Webb. He thinks he’s throwing in the mid-80s, but he doesn’t consider velocity to be very important, especially at this point.

“I think there’s a few more ticks in there on that side of it,” Webb said. “Once you get in game situations, that comes.”

Webb hopes he’ll get in a game situation next week.