Brandon Webb still rehabbing, willing to pitch out of bullpen

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Brandon Webb is now more than two full years removed from his last big-league start, but the former Cy Young winner is still trying to get healthy following shoulder surgery and said yesterday that he’d be willing to pitch out of Texas’ bullpen once he does come off the disabled list.

Webb, who threw a 70-pitch bullpen session yesterday, said that he’d still rather start but “would do it … if it’s a chance to pitch.”

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Webb “is still 4-6 weeks away from completing his comeback,” so while the Rangers’ rotation looks full and is performing very well right now plenty of things could change between now and late May. On the other hand, Texas will also get starters Tommy Hunter and Scott Feldman back from the DL at some point, perhaps before Webb.

Webb’s only career relief appearance came in his MLB debut and since then he’s made 198 starts, the last of which came on Opening Day of 2009. There’s no sense in worrying about Webb’s role at this point, because he’s no longer a particularly strong bet to contribute significantly this season and if he does come back in 4-6 weeks looking good and healthy the Rangers will figure out a way to use of their $3 million investment.

Braves trade David Hernandez to the Angels

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The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels have completed a minor trade: Atlanta is sending righty reliever David Hernandez to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Hernandez hasn’t pitched in the big leagues this year. He’s pitched in seven games at Triple-A, allowing one earned run in eight innings of work. In seven years of big league work he’s got an ERA of 4.10 in 379 games. Last year he put up a 3.84 ERA in 70 games for the Phillies.

I’m assuming the PTBNL is not Mike Trout.

The Nats are sniffing around for relief pitching help

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The Nationals began the year with Blake Treinen as their closer. That didn’t last long, and now Koda Glover seems to be Dusty Baker’s man in the ninth inning. He earned a save for the second consecutive game yesterday. Glover has been pretty darn good in the early going, posting a 2.35 ERA and striking out six batters and walking only one in seven and two-thirds. That obviously a small sample size, and anything can happen. If it does, Baker has Shawn Kelley as an option.

Not many household names there, which is probably why the Nationals are reported to be interested in the White Sox’ David Robertson and Alex Colome of the Rays. That report comes from Jim Bowden of ESPN, who also notes that the A’s have a number of guys with closing experience on staff and are likely to be sellers too. The David Robertson thing may have more legs, though, given that Mike Rizzo and Rick Hahn pulled off a pretty major trade in the offseason. If you know a guy well, you call that guy first, right?

As far as problems go this isn’t a huge one. The Nats sit at 13-5 and, as expected by most prognosticators, are in first place in the National League East. The Cubs had some questions in the pen this time last year too. They had the luxury of trying to figure it out before making a massive trade for a closer. The Nats do too, and likely will. But expect them to be a part of any trade rumor conversation for the next couple of months.