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Ace Webb throws, but manager proceeds cautiously

PHOENIX – Brandon Webb, on the disabled list for only the second time in his career, is antsy to return to the Arizona Diamondbacks rotation.

He’s been on the DL since April 13 with tightness in his right (throwing) shoulder.

“It’s real tough,” said Webb, who threw 33 pitches in the bullpen before Tuesday’s game. “I’m used to going out there every five days and (pitching), trying to help the team and now just sitting back on the sidelines and not be able to do anything really, it’s tough.

“So I’m definitely ready to get back out there and try to help the team.”

Webb is scheduled to throw again Friday, and he said he might be able to make it a longer session. There is no timetable for his return.

Manager Bob Melvin said Webb looked good, and that the plan is to incrementally get him back so he can face hitters or go on a rehab assignment. Webb said depending on the next bullpen session, he might be able to pitch in a simulated game.

“My guess is we’ll have a better idea how far along we are after the next one (Friday),” Melvin said.

Webb said there’s a key element to Friday’s session.

“Just me, for one, probably getting up and getting down and not feeling any tightness between those five, 10 minutes before I sit down,” he said.

“That’ll be big for me; I haven’t 100 percent let it go – I don’t want to rush into it, and being able to let that go and just feel comfortable where I’m at off the mound.”

Taking it slow

The Diamondbacks aren’t pushing reliever Juan Gutierrez, who has often been a starter in his career.

The right-handed reliever wasn’t available Monday night because Melvin didn’t want him pitching for the third time in four days.

“They had him in San Francisco at 100 (mph) one night,” Melvin said. “I think their gun might been a little fast, but certainly that’s 97. When he’s mechanically sound and not flying open, his ball gets on hitters.

“He’s shown he can throw his breaking ball behind a couple times. There’s still a kind of the mind-set of going from starter to reliever, but he seems to be adapting really well.”

Tuesday, he pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up a run on two hits and taking the loss as the Diamondbacks fell 9-6.

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