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Following wild start, Webster looks to bounce back

ST. LOUIS -- When No. 5 prospect Allen Webster takes the mound again on Friday night, he'll be matching pitches with one of the best pitchers in the American League in Jered Weaver.

That will require Webster being much sharper than he was Saturday against the Yankees, when he walked five batters in one inning and was out of the game before the third inning was through.

What kind of progress has Webster made between starts?

"I would say yes, he's repeating his delivery on his side day," said manager John Farrell. "We're also looking forward to seeing the adjustments that might be needed inside a given game be accomplished. That's always the challenge of bringing the bullpen [session] into the game and executing it, having the wherewithal to step off and regroup if those situations call for it and make necessary adjustments. That's where our evaluation probably stems. It's not about stuff; it's a matter of making adjustments."

The key test for Webster will be whether he can slow the game down once adversity strikes. That is what he failed to do against the Yankees.

"It's not uncommon for young pitchers that when you get into a little bit of a situation where you're trying to do more, you're trying harder to throw a strike, not necessarily in terms of velocity, but you're trying harder to throw a ball in a certain area," said Farrell. "What that leads to is being spread out a little bit more in the delivery, your arm drags. A lot of times, less is better. We do know that in his case his changeup is the one pitch that gets him back in sync from a delivery standpoint. It causes some relaxation in his delivery. And yet, that was a little bit touch-and-go for him the other day as well."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.
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