ST. PETERSBURG -- The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is finally becoming a reality for Brandon Webb. On Sunday, the pitcher with the second-most wins in D-backs history, sat in the visitors' dugout at Tropicana Field discussing his return from the shoulder injury that sidelined him in 2009 and he gleaned positivity.

"Yeah, no doubt," Webb said when asked if he could see himself returning to the mound this season. "For some reason, I think something turned on and something allowed me to get out there and really get after it and without any pain. I've turned the corner, and I feel like I'm moving in the right direction and I see the light."

Webb's 2009 season was derailed by a right shoulder injury suffered during his Opening Day start. After a thwarted comeback, he had debridement surgery.

The 31-year-old right-hander has tossed "three or four" bullpen sessions this season, the most recent one occurring on Saturday, in which Webb tossed "around 60 to 65 pitches." Webb has continually added something new to each session as he builds back strength. He was able to toss off the mound from 55 feet.

"[Saturday] was again good," Webb said."The catcher was down so that was something that was new. I feel like I'm getting stuff done every time, moving forward, not having problems. I went through the windup, which I wasn't doing. I was kind of stepping into it and throwing off the mound [before Saturday]. [Saturday], or more than half the time, I went through the total windup and had the catcher down."

Webb feels good enough to where he thinks he will be able to step back to the full distance and throw either in the next bullpen session, which will occur on Tuesday or Wednesday in St. Louis, or the following one. In those, he and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, Jr. will determine whether he is capable of facing hitters.

"As far as intensity, it's pretty much on me," Webb said. "He'll be able to tell once we get the catcher back full distance hopefully the next time, he'll be able to tell, after one or two of those. He'll be able to say 'Hey, you're looking good, we're ready to see some hitters in there."

Webb has started to throw his breaking ball and fastball with consistency, including a four-seam fastball which he doesn't use much in games.

"Mostly four-seam fastballs, which is good, which I don't do any in the game hardly at all," Webb said. "Whenever I throw [the breaking ball] here and there on flat ground here and there, it's totally fine. I've been spinning some curveballs on flat ground and changeups and once I get back to full distance, that will be the next step, throwing a couple breaking balls and stuff."

Having Webb back in the mix will be good for a pitching staff that has suddenly become walk prone, having issued 24 free passes over the past three games heading into Sunday's finale with Tampa Bay. Webb has issued just 125 walks in 357 innings over his six-year career and averaged 17.5 wins between 2005-08, including 22 in his last full season (2008).

"The most frustrating part is not being able to compete," Webb said. "That's what I'm looking forward to doing again. I think it's why we all play, is the competition part of the game. That's what makes it fun, to get out there and throw to hitters in some kind of competitive atmosphere. It's going to be exciting and hopefully, soon, I can be out there and help the team."

Reynolds' K's are concerning Hinch

ST. PETERSBURG -- While D-backs manager A.J. Hinch opted to sit Mark Reynolds on Sunday against the Rays "for multiple reasons," it is clear his struggles at the plate are becoming frustrating for both parties.

"There needs to be some adjustments, because, as much as strikeouts are a part of his game, it seems to be dominating more than it should," Hinch said.

For Reynolds, who leads the team in both home runs (17) and strikeouts (107), it's becoming a difficult situation to manage more so mechanically than mentally.

"It's frustrating to say the least," said Reynolds, who went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Rays. "I'm fine mentally and confident. I'm just working on some stuff with my swing. It's been a little longer and I need to shorten it up, drive through the ball, stay with it. I'm trying to fix it. My hips have been opening up and I've been pulling off of it. I think that will help the mental part of it."

Reynolds was hitless in his last 13 at-bats entering Sunday and was batting .132 in his last 11 games. On June 19 against the Tigers, his 16th homer of the season snapped an 0-for-15 skid that had included 13 strikeouts.

While Hinch would like to see the strikeouts cut down, the skipper is more puzzled at what's occurring when Reynolds makes contact.

"I think his production has been OK," Hinch said. "The home runs and RBIs have been good. What's interesting is that a year ago, we talked about how when he made contact, he was getting a lot of hits and his batting average when he put the ball in play was ridiculously high and that's what's missing now. Certainly, the strikeouts are high but he's hitting a lot of fly balls and he's not getting hits when he's not striking out the way that he was last year."

Last season, Reynolds ranked second on the team with a .341 average when he put the ball in play, but that average has dropped dramatically this year to .280 when he makes contact, which is sixth-best on the team.

Hinch hopes some time off and extra work in the cage will fix things, but hopes the slump doesn't seriously affect the 26-year-old third baseman.

"The mental part is hard to conquer," Hinch said. "I've seen it wear on him more this year than last year. I don't think he's taking lightly as he did last year. It's an accumulated mentality, strikeouts growing, the attention it's brought, been more aware of it, we don't talk about it much, but I've seen it wear on him more."

Reynolds hopes the upcoming All-Star break and additional work in the cage will allow him to regain his 2009 form, when he established himself as on of the premier power hitters in the Majors with 30 doubles, 44 home runs and 102 RBIs.

"It's frustrating, because I know I have the ability to be a good hitter," Reynolds said. "I'm working through it, though, and I'm trying to have a better second half."

Jackson will be skipped in rotation

ST. PETERSBURG -- D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said on Sunday that the team will definitely rest Edwin Jackson, who tossed a remarkable 149 pitches in Friday's no-hitter, until next "Friday or Saturday."

Jackson was scheduled to make his next start on Wednesday at St. Louis.

Who will replace him is still a mystery, though, as Hinch will wait until after Sunday's Interleague finale with Tampa Bay to make his decision.

"It all depends on the game [Sunday] and how the starters and bullpen go in the next [couple] games," Hinch said when asked if the team would use someone from the current roster or call someone up from the Minors. "If we've used our bullpen, we wouldn't have anybody available."

Upton getting back in swing of things

ST. PETERSBURG -- Justin Upton has found his swing again, in familiar and new ways. With a 2-for-3 performance on Saturday against the Rays, the 22-year-old outfielder hit safely in five straight games at a .611 clip, including one double, three homers and five RBIs.

He produced hits in nine of his previous 11 games with eight multihit games and was batting .325 (26-for-80) in 21 games during June with six home runs and 12 RBIs.

More importantly, though, Upton has demonstrated the ability to go the other way with the ball, as evidenced by Saturday's home run to right field off Rays left-hander David Price and the homer off Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett the previous Sunday that sailed over the right-center-field wall at Chase Field.

"He's comfortable in the batter's box," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "When he's not consumed with pulling the ball 450 feet and he's willing to take whatever they give him, whether it's a ground ball base hit up the middle against David Price, the opposite field home run, a couple of line drives to right field against the Yankees, the home run center [opposite field] against Burnett, those are all good signs. Getting him out of the mindset that he has to limit himself to a third of the field is crucial."

Willis is searching for consistency

ST. PETERSBURG -- D-backs manager A.J. Hinch hopes Dontrelle Willis' work in the bullpen on Saturday will help him find some form of consistency, after the 28-year-old left-hander gave up seven of the Arizona's franchise-record 13 walks while pitching 2 1/3 innings in Wednesday's 6-5 loss to the Yankees.

"He threw a ton in the bullpen trying to find the feel and the rhythm and some consistency with his delivery so we'll see," Hinch said before Sunday's game against the Rays. "When he does lock that in, he's pretty effective but he hasn't locked it in, and that's the tough part."

Willis has issued 18 walks in his last 21 1/3 innings and has 50 walks to 44 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings this season with the Tigers and D-backs.

"Whatever happens at the plate is created by what happens on the rubber and it's important to be able to make the adjustments on the fly," Hinch said. "It's not against the rules to misfire a couple times, but you have to have the ability to make the adjustments. He's got a tough start ahead of him against a tough lineup in St. Louis, so we'll see."