It was only a bullpen session, but the 45 pitches Brandon Webb threw on Thursday morning had the D-backs feeling good.
"I feel like every time I'm getting somewhere," Webb said. "So eventually I'm going to get to where I need to be. Today was by far the best day. It's just going to be a process."
The 45 pitches were the most he has thrown off the mound in any of his six bullpen sessions since he began throwing again last month.
For the first time since shoulder surgery in August, Webb threw changeups from the mound. The session also marked the first time Webb worked from the stretch.
While his shoulder has been good for Webb during his bullpen sessions, he has struggled to get his mechanics and release point where he wants them. In that regard, Thursday's session was a big step forward.
This is big news for Webb who missed almost all of the 2009 season because of arm problems. Webb will be a free agent after the season and it will be interesting to see what kind of contract he can command on the open market. This is undoubtedly a positive step but the real test will come when the season starts to see if Webb is still the front line starting pitcher he was previously.