Brandon Webb threw off a mound when he first arrived to spring training last week, but Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux put him on a throwing program in an effort to build up his arm strength.
After a week of intense long-tossing, Webb is scheduled to get back on the mound Sunday for another bullpen session, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
“I guess I showed them what they needed to see,” Webb said Saturday morning. “I know I can definitely see a huge difference. In a week’s time frame there is a huge jump in my arm strength.”
Webb is at least a week behind the other pitchers in camp, but he told Grant that he doesn’t think being ready for the first week of the season is an unrealistic goal.
“They’ve told me Opening Day is not the finish line,” he said. “I know I don’t want to go back to where things were last year, but as long as I’m feeling good, I don’t see any reason why we can’t push things a little.”
Webb hasn’t pitched in the majors since undergoing shoulder surgery in August of 2009.
Update (7:00 PM ET): The MLBPA announces that the deadline has been extended 24 hours while MLB and NPB continue to negotiate a new agreement for the posting system. The new deadline is 8 PM ET on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.