Brandon Webb may start the season on the DL

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This is why you shouldn’t pay much attention to those February “Player X is throwing free and easy” articles:

The Diamondbacks acknowledged on Friday morning that Brandon Webb might not be ready to start the season on time and could begin the year on the disabled list.
“It’s a long season,” General Manager Josh Byrnes
said. “If we get 30 starts from him, great. If we get 20, that’s great.
We just need to get it right.”
Asked if that means Webb might start on the DL,
Byrnes called it a possibility, the first time anyone in the
organization has admitted that Webb’s slow pace might leave him behind
schedule.

For what it’s worth, Webb disagrees that he’ll need to start on the DL. No link for that, but that’s what folks are tweeting.

Hard to say what will happen here, but for those of you who skew pessimistic and want to skip ahead, the pattern usually goes like this:

1. Player X, recovering from surgery Y, is looking forward to showing everyone he can still get the job done (Dec-Jan);

2. Player X is throwing free and easy, eyes big year (Feb);

3. Player X has setback; feels fine; acknowledges there will be bumps in the road coming back (early March);

4. Player X may start the season on the DL; GM says it’s OK, season is long (next day);

5. Player X won’t break camp with the team; staying in Arizona/Florida for extended spring training (late March);

6. Player X flying to City Z for further tests (June);

7. Player X holding private workouts for suitors willing to take a chance (January).

Hope that’s not Webb’s path, of course, but it’s not like such a thing would be unprecedented.

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: