Brandon Webb gets cortisone shot after setback

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Brandon Webb recently got a cortisone injection in his surgically repaired right shoulder and will take several days off before resuming his rehab program, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.
Webb began throwing bullpen sessions in January, but experienced multiple setbacks and hasn’t pitched off a mound for several weeks. Here’s what the former Cy Young winner had to say about his current status:

It never hurt. It doesn’t feel great, but it doesn’t hurt bad. I still feel like I can’t let it go. I still feel like I’m not ready to get on the mound yet. I can’t take it to the mound. Hopefully [the cortisone injection] will get me over the hump.

Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch seems far less optimistic:

There are mental hurdles to clear. I think there are physical hurdles to clear in terms of the workload, and these dead periods show up from time to time in the recovery process. When to push him, when to lay back on him, when to accelerate his deals has been very hot and cold this spring. That’s the frustrating part for everybody involved. It’s been a little on again, off again. I don’t know what’s next.

It’s important to get him healthy, and we feel like based on the doctor’s report that this might be exactly what he needed. It’s been a little slower for him than anybody anticipated, but it is what it is and now we have to try and get him better. I think until he can accelerate his arm at a speed that would represent a full-speed delivery, there’s just no reason to [have him throw off a mound].

Webb hasn’t pitched since Opening Day of last season and the 31-year-old right-hander is an impending free agent after Arizona exercised its $8.5 million option rather than a $1.5 million buyout for 2010.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.