May 13, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT
Brandon Webb started an extended spring training game yesterday and finally showed signs of rediscovering his pre-surgery velocity levels.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports that Webb threw four innings and “hit 86 mph a handful of times with his fastball, likely averaging around 84 mph.”
That may not sound very encouraging at first glance, but prior to missing essentially two straight seasons with shoulder problems Webb averaged just 88 miles per hour with his fastball.
His success has never been due to an overpowering fastball and as recently as last week his velocity was said to be in the high-70s and low-80s, so if the readings reported by Durrett are accurate Webb finally appears to have made some significant progress.
Webb will take the mound again for 4-5 innings Tuesday in Arizona, but there’s no timetable yet for his return from the disabled list.
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