Brandon Webb excited to head to Arizona

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Brandon Webb is taking the next step in his attempt to join the Rangers' rotation this season, heading to extended spring games in Surprise, Ariz.

He is scheduled to throw two innings in a spring game Monday.

Webb was busy packing in the clubhouse late this afternoon and said he was catching a night flight to Arizona. He threw a long-toss session with Tommy Hunter as pitching coach Mike Maddux watched. Webb was happy with it and pleased with how he's progressing.

"It's the biggest step so far," Webb said about going to extended spring games. "It will be more intense than what I've had to so far, so that will be good I think to crank the intensity up. That should help me."

Webb isn't sure how long he'll be in Arizona but expects that it will be a few outings at least before the club re-evaluates him and decides what's next.

"I think we'll see how it goes and how I feel," Webb said. "If I'm ready to come back and go to Frisco and do a few there, maybe we'll do that. But we'll see how it goes out there."

Webb has thrown to live hitters a couple of times in the last week and felt good about it. He said the toughest thing is that it still takes him longer than normal to get loosened up.

"Hopefully that will get better and better as I go along," Webb said.