Brandon Webb threw 60-65 pitches off flat ground Thursday, ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett reports, and appears to be on pace to return to the mound early next week.
Webb was taken off the mound after showing little velocity in his first bullpen session last week, putting his status for the beginning of the season in jeopardy. The Rangers seem happy with his progress since, though.
“Wow,” manager Ron Washington said after watching him throw today. “The ball was coming out of his hand really good. The arm strength is picking up.”
Webb underwent shoulder surgery in 2009 and hasn’t pitched in the majors since. If healthy, he’s slated to have a spot at the back of the Rangers rotation this season.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.