Brandon Webb throws off mound for Rangers

Brandon Webb(notes) was back where he wanted to be: throwing off a pitcher’s mound.

The former NL Cy Young winner, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since the 2009 season opener for Arizona because of shoulder surgery, was on the mound for the first time in 10 days. He was a little wild with some of his pitches, but all that really mattered to the right-hander was that he was throwing off a mound for the Texas Rangers and his arm felt good.

“Zero issues. I felt really good,” Webb said in Surprise, Ariz., on Sunday. “I threw some changeups. … I didn’t want to stop, so that was good.”

After a short bullpen session during the first workout of spring training, the Rangers decided that Webb needed to build up arm strength before getting back on a mound. He worked up to Sunday’s session with a program of throwing off flat ground and longer distances under the supervision of pitching coach Mike Maddux.

“We got on the mound. That’s what we wanted to do,” Maddux said. “So we’re on target with our rehab right now, with what we’re doing, our arm-strengthening program.”

The Rangers are anticipating Webb to be part of their rotation, even if the 2006 NY Cy Young winner isn’t ready at the start of the season.

Webb was one of the NL’s best pitchers before shoulder surgery in August 2009, throwing more than 200 innings in five consecutive seasons. He tried to come back too quickly last spring with the Diamondbacks and ended up missing all of last season as well.

In Peoria, Ariz., outfielder Jody Gerut(notes) said he was retiring after six seasons in the majors.

The 33-year-old Gerut appeared in 574 games in stints with Cleveland, the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Milwaukee. He finished with a career batting average of .262 and had 472 hits.

“Physically, I’m fine,” Gerut said in a statement from the Mariners. “But mentally my reasons for wanting to be in uniform have become so thin and narrow that I refuse to disrespect the game that has provided so generously for my family by playing it in a halfhearted way.”

In Jupiter, Fla., Florida Marlins slugger Mike Stanton(notes) left the team’s exhibition opener after straining his right quadriceps while trying to beat out a groundball.

Stanton fell to his knees after crossing first base, then rose and limped off the field. The Marlins declined to predict how long he’ll be sidelined.

At Clearwater, Fla., Philadelphia Phillies All-Star second baseman Chase Utley(notes) has patella tendinitis in his right knee and missed his second straight game Sunday.

Utley has been taking regular batting practice. His knee becomes painful in explosive baseball movements, such as running and fielding.

Reds 7, Indians 6=

At Goodyear, Ariz., Matt Maloney(notes) pitched two scoreless innings in place of Cincinnati’s opening-day starter Edinson Volquez(notes), who couldn’t pitch because he has not yet gotten his work visa approved by the U.S. government.

Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo(notes) was kept out because of a sore left elbow. Choo, who had Tommy John surgery in 2007, said he may have hyperextended his elbow while throwing. He’ll DH on Monday against the Reds and hopes to play in the field later this week.

Tigers 1, Blue Jays 0=

At Lakeland, Fla., Victor Martinez(notes) drove in the only run with a sacrifice fly.

Detroit starter Brad Penny(notes) worked two innings and Max Scherzer(notes) followed with two hitless innings.

Diamondbacks 4, Giants 3=

At Scottsdale, Ariz., A slimmed-down Pablo Sandoval(notes) homered for the second day in a row for San Francisco. Sandoval, who lost 38 pounds with an offseason training regimen, hit an 0-2 pitch from Arizona’s Daniel Hudson(notes).

Matt Cain(notes) allowed three hits in two scoreless innings for the Giants.

Mets 5, Braves 4=

At Kissimmee, Fla., Chris Young pitched two shutout innings. Oliver Perez(notes), who is hoping for a spot at the back end of the Mets’ rotation, allowed four earned runs and walked three in only two innings.

Rodrigo Lopez(notes) started for the Braves and threw two shutout innings.

Pirates 10, Rays 3=

At Bradenton, Fla., Right-hander Kevin Correia(notes), the Pirates’ biggest offseason acquisition, made an early exit. He was scheduled to work two innings, but lasted just 1 1-3 innings after allowing two runs on two hits and two walks.

Yankees 7, Phillies 3=

At Clearwater, Fla., Curtis Granderson(notes) hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning for New York. Yankees starter Ivan Nova(notes) struck out two over two perfect innings.

Phillies starter Joe Blanton(notes) threw three hitless innings.

Athletics 15, Cubs 7=

At Mesa, Ariz., Carlos Zambrano(notes) threw free and easy in his spring training debut, working two innings for the Cubs.

Matt Garza(notes) allowed five earned runs on five hits in his two innings, including a grand slam to Coco Crisp(notes), in his Cubs debut.

Mariners 13, Padres 12, 10 innings=

At Peoria, Ariz., Padres catcher Nick Hundley(notes) had a big day, driving a 1-2 pitch from Mariners reliever Denny Bautista(notes) over the wall in left-center field as the Padres scored six runs in the fifth.

Mariners starter Erik Bedard(notes) threw a nine-pitch scoreless first inning, his lone inning of work.

Royals 4, Rangers 2=

At Surprise, Ariz., Billy Butler(notes) had a two-run single and a stolen base in the first inning for the Royals.

Twins 8, Red Sox 4=

At Fort Myers, Fla., Carl Pavano(notes) worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit with two strikeouts for Minnesota.

Josh Beckett(notes) started for the Red Sox, going two innings and giving up one run on two hits.

Red Sox left-hander Hideki Okajima(notes) gave up four runs on five hits.

Don't miss a minute of the action with Full Count!
Batter up! Sign up for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball or follow Yahoo! Sports' MLB coverage on Twitter.
Updated Sunday, Feb 27, 2011