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Webb a little hesitant in bullpen session

Webb a little hesitant in bullpen session

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- On the plus side, Brandon Webb says his surgically repaired shoulder feels good.

As for his state of mind, well that's another story.

"It was average," said Webb, who threw his fifth bullpen of the spring Thursday morning. "I feel like I'm kind of stagnant right now. I want to feel some progression every time, and I feel like the last couple times I've been out, it's been the same."

When he next takes the mound, though, the circumstances will be different.

Webb is slated to face hitters in a batting practice-type environment Sunday or Monday, and that could cause his adrenaline to pump a little more and allow him to let loose.

"They're thinking that if I get some hitters in there, get a new look, get something other than just [bullpen coach Jeff Motuzas] catching me, the intensity will pop up," Webb said. "Still can't let it go, so that's what I'm looking to build on."

Thursday there was a bit of a difference when pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. stepped in the box to simulate a hitter.

"The intensity did step up a little bit there," Webb said. "I could feel it -- it was two or three or four percent. It wasn't like it was a lot, but it was a little bit. That was something new."

Webb emphasized that it's not pain that's causing him to hold back a bit, but rather a mental hesitation to let it go completely.

"I just need a little more intensity," Webb said. "I need to jack myself up, I need something. I don't want to overdo it either. I don't want to set myself back. That's like the thing that's in the back of my mind always. I'm set up right now to be where I need to be, and one little setback would probably push me back to where I don't want to be. Still a little cautious.

"If I'm ready to go Sunday, we'll do it Sunday," Webb said. "If we need an extra day, we'll do it Monday."

For the first time since he started throwing back in January, Webb said he felt as good mechanically out of the windup as he did from the stretch. Previously, he was more comfortable from the stretch.

"I feel pretty comfortable on the mound mechanically," Webb said. "I don't have any patience right now. I'm ready to go, let loose. I want to throw in a game and obviously I'm not ready to do that right now, but the next step is facing live hitters and that will be coming up."

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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