Brandon Webb to focus on delivery

Updated: May 4, 2011, 7:21 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

SEATTLE -- Texas Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb has been scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday because the club wants him to work on his mechanics in a bullpen session instead.

The plan is for Webb to keep throwing bullpens because the club wants him to work on his delivery more before pitching in a game again. Webb's command has been fine, but his velocity has been down in two extended spring training starts. The fastest a radar gun clocked Webb's fastball in his last two starts was 84 miles per hour.

"I have been doing some drills and had some real good days," said Webb, who is working with pitching rehab coordinator Kevin Comstock. "I just think it's better to try them in the 'pen than to try it while also trying to get hitters out. I feel real good about it."

Webb was signed for $3 million guaranteed in the offseason with the hope that he could return to form and help the Rangers at some point in 2011. The club has never set a timetable for that return, and clearly Webb has work to do before it can even be considered.

Webb had debridement surgery on his right shoulder in August 2009 and has been attempting to come back since then. He won the 2006 AL Cy Young Award and was an All-Star in 2007 and 2008 but has pitched just four big league innings the last two-plus seasons.

Meanwhile, the Rangers recalled right-handed reliever Mark Lowe from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned right-hander Pedro Strop to the minors Wednesday.

Lowe was 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in six appearances for Round Rock. His last 4 1/3 innings were scoreless. Lowe started the season with the Rangers but had a 13.50 ERA in four appearances (2 2/3 innings). He showed good velocity, sporting a 97 mph fastball, but didn't have enough movement. We'll see if that's improved in the last few weeks in the minors.

Strop was 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 11 games for the Rangers this season. He had a blown save and a loss in Tuesday's 4-3 defeat to the Seattle Mariners. He gave up the lead twice, allowing three runs in one inning of relief.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.

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