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Webb pumped after inning at instructs

Webb pumped after inning at instructs

SAN FRANCISCO -- As he walked into the dugout at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson on Wednesday, his inning of instructional-league work completed, Brandon Webb turned to former big leaguers and current D-backs Minor League instructors Alan Zinter and Mike Bell.

"I said to them, 'That's the most fun I've had in two years,'" Webb told MLB.com by phone as he headed back up Interstate 10 to Phoenix.

It was the first time Webb had faced hitters in a game since Opening Day 2009 when he experienced shoulder discomfort that wound up leading to shoulder surgery in August and endless long-toss and bullpen sessions.

Webb threw 20 pitches in working one scoreless inning, facing four batters and recording two groundouts and a flyout to go with a triple.

"I had some nerves going in," he said. "But it felt real good. I was throwing strikes, which was really good. Changeup was good. My curveball was surprisingly good. I've been throwing most of them in the dirt during the simulated games, just not getting good extension on them, but it was good today."

Webb said it did not take him any longer than usual to get ready for the outing -- 30-35 pitches in the bullpen to warm up. His velocity he said was probably in the low 80s, but he expects that to improve in subsequent outings.

"I was just trying to get my feet wet today," Webb said. "You know I had control problems at times during the [simulated] games and so today I was guiding the ball a little bit. I just didn't want to go out there and walk a bunch of guys or hit guys. I think I'll be able to let it go more next time. I'm just happy to feel so good at this point."

If all goes according to plan, Webb will throw again Saturday in Tucson and then one more time Oct. 7 in Phoenix.

Numerous scouts attended the outing to get a look at Webb, who will be a free agent at season's end.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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