Webb disappointed after simulated game
Right-hander lacks command in 35-pitch session
PHOENIX -- Brandon Webb said he was disappointed in how things went when he faced hitters in a simulated game Friday afternoon at Chase Field.
Webb, who is attempting to return from shoulder surgery performed last August, faced hitters for the first time since throwing a simulated game last Saturday in San Francisco, which was the first time he had faced hitters since Opening Day of 2009. Following that outing he was encouraged after throwing 52 pitches.
On Friday, he had hoped to build off that effort, but instead threw around 35 pitches and lacked command of his pitches.
"It wasn't as good as it was the last time," Webb said. "I was as wild as I've ever been. I had no clue where it was going. I was a little disappointed because I felt like it went pretty good last time."
The issue, Friday Webb said, was his mechanics as he tried starting with the ball out of his glove in an attempt to help improve his arm speed, which was lacking.
"I felt like I should have been able to bump it up a little more than last time, but didn't," Webb said. "I think a lot of it was mechanical. I just wasn't throwing strikes. I'm still not reaching out in front and getting it out in front of me."
The positive from throwing fewer pitches is that Webb will likely be able to get back on the mound quicker this time around. He said he was aiming for facing hitters against Tuesday or Wednesday and he is still hopeful of making a few appearances out of the bullpen before the end of the season.
"Anything I can grab out there would be great," he said. "We have a little bit of time left. I'm going to have to have a couple more miles an hour. I was 82 last time. I think 84 or 85 would get the job done so hopefully I'll be able to reach that in a couple more times out."
D-backs interim manager Kirk Gibson said he would not describe the session as a setback for Webb.
"He didn't throw as good as he did his last time," Gibson said. "I cautioned you guys about that last time. I've been through enough rehabs to know that you get excited and it's possible to have a day that's not what you're expecting it to be. I consider it normal. That's why I caution you guys not to put expectations on it."
Hampton getting the hang of being a reliever
PHOENIX -- It certainly is not about the money for Mike Hampton.
The veteran left-hander, who is trying to reinvent himself as a reliever, was called up from Triple-A Reno by the D-backs on Friday after being signed to a Minor League deal Aug. 21.
The 37-year-old is 148-115 with a 4.07 ERA in 409 games (355 starts) over a 15-year Major League career with the Mariners, Astros, Mets, Rockies and Braves.
Injuries have hit Hampton hard in recent years as he missed the entire 2006 and 2007 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery and he underwent shoulder surgery last September.
"I think if I want to stay around and pitch a little longer, I think this might be my best option," Hampton said of pitching out of the bullpen. "I've had quite a few innings and had quite a few starts and I think it's taken a toll not just on my arm, but on my body. The hunger is still there, the drive is still there."
And it's that hunger and love of competition that motivates Hampton to continue to pitch.
"He's made all the money in the world so he's not motivated by that," D-backs interim manager Kirk Gibson said of Hampton, who signed an eight-year $121 million contract earlier in the decade. "I think he just likes to compete, he's kind of a fierce competitor and he really wants to come back."
Gibson said he would use Hampton as a situational left-hander, but that he could also see action as a late reliever because he feels he has the abilities to get right-handers out as well.
After a career of starting, Hampton is trying to get the hang of pitching out of the bullpen.
"It's different, it's definitely different," Hampton said. "You have to be prepared every day to pitch as opposed to knowing your schedule in advance. I think the biggest thing will be to get into a routine and be ready to pitch when they call my number."
Upton out of lineup for third straight game
PHOENIX -- D-backs outfielder Justin Upton was out of the lineup for the third straight game after leaving Monday's game with irritation in his left shoulder.
"I made the decision before he came in not to play him," D-backs interim manager Kirk Gibson said.
Instead, the team put Upton through the paces in the outfield before the game and Upton is available to pinch-hit.
"I want to make sure on him," Gibson said.
When asked if Upton would be back in the lineup Saturday Gibson said, "Could be, yeah. We'll see."
Second baseman Kelly Johnson was also out of the starting lineup, but that was a scheduled day off. Tony Abreu started in his place.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.