ARLINGTON, Texas -- Two days ahead of schedule, Brandon Webb threw to live hitters at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Webb, who was supposed to throw Friday, felt ready to go on Wednesday and pitched under the watchful eye of pitching coach Mike Maddux and manager Ron Washington and threw 60 pitches plus another 20 t0 25 warmup pitches. Webb threw all of his pitches -- 4-seamer, 2-seamer, changeup, curve -- and said his arm felt good.
"It was OK," Webb said of the outing. "I wouldn't say it was unbelievable, but definitely better than last time."
Webb said he wasn't locating as well as he wanted for the first half of the session, but after taking a two-minute break, went back up on the mound and threw much better. He threw a bullpen at Yankee Stadium over the weekend and was hoping to head out to Arizona after that, but the club wanted him to throw to hitters. Webb isn't sure if he'll now go to Arizona to get some innings in extended spring games or if Maddux will want to see another session here at the ballpark in a few days before making that call. Stay tuned.
Webb said there were times when he felt like his velocity was close to where it needed to be, but he's trying to find his consistency. He said that's a matter of timing and is hopeful that with each outing, he'll get better and better.
"I thought it was better than the last time out there," said Washington, referencing the last time Webb threw to hitters when he hit a couple of batters and was all over the place a few weeks ago. "He made some good pitches with his breaking ball and with his changeup. He's still searching for consistency. He'll throw one there and then two or three won't be there. But I saw a freeness. I saw the ball come out of his hand better. He had some good sink."
Webb joked that he didn't hit anyone, but added that he didn't face any right-handed hitters (and it was the right-handed batters he hit last time). Lefties Andres Blanco and Chris Davis stood in against Webb.
"I hadn't seen him before, but when he keeps his off-speed stuff down, it's tough," Davis said. "That sinker was good."
Blanco said he knows Webb isn't throwing at full strength yet, but can't wait to see a fully healthy Webb.
"When he's 100 percent, he's going to be a special pitcher for us," Blanco said. "He's got movement and he's been there before. The way the ball moved was pretty good."