Brandon Webb struggles in first professional start since Opening Day of 2009

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Brandon Webb allowed five runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings earlier this afternoon in his first minor league rehab start with Double-A Frisco, reports Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

It was his first professional start of any kind since Opening Day of the 2009 season.

Webb struck out two, walked two and hit a batter while throwing 47 out of 77 pitches for strikes. The 32-year-old right-hander topped out at 85 mph on the radar gun during a 32-pitch first inning, but mostly sat in the 83-84 mph range. Of the 10 outs recorded during Webb’s outing, two occurred on the basepaths.

Webb obviously has quite a bit of work to do before pitching in the major leagues again, but his 30-day rehab clock has officially begun.

Mariners activate Robinson Cano from the disabled list

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The Mariners announced that second baseman Robinson Cano has been activated from the disabled list in time for Tuesday’s game against the Nationals in Washington. Cano spent the minimum 10 days on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.

Taylor Motter got most of the playing time at second base while Cano was out. Mike Freeman did get a couple of starts there as well.

Cano resumes batting .296/.362/.533 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 152 plate appearances on the season.

Former outfielder Anthony Gose is throwing 99 m.p.h. fastballs in the minors

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Anthony Gose played for five seasons as an outfielder in the big leagues. He never hit well enough to be a regular, and a series of altercations with his minor league managers and coaches didn’t do too much for his future either.

His fastball, however, may eventually make up for all of that.

Toward the end of spring training it was reported that Gose would begin work as a pitcher. Given that he was a highly regarded high school pitching prospect with a plus fastball, it wasn’t a crazy notion. When Tigers camp broke, Gose stayed in Lakeland in extended spring training, throwing bullpen sessions and stuff.

Now he’s seeing game action. As the Detroit Free Press reports, Gose threw an inning for the Class-A Lakeland Flying Tigers against the Palm Beach Cardinals last night. He allowed one run on one hit with one strikeout and one walk, lighting up the radar gun at 99 m.p.h. This is the tweet from Lakeland’s assistant general manager:

The Free Press says that the Tigers’ vice president of player development, Dave Littlefield, is “very optimistic” about Gose’s progress.

Given that he’s still only 26 and he’s a lefty it wouldn’t shock me at all if he makes his way back to the bigs someday soon.