July 6, 2008

Report: Webb to Start All-Star Game

By The Daily Independent, Ashland, Ky.

Jul. 6--NEW YORK -- Arizona's Brandon Webb will be the starting pitcher for the National League All-Stars, according to a report on the New York Post's Web site.

Webb, an Ashland, Ky., native who leads the majors with a 12-4 record, will be making his third consecutive All-Star appearance. He will face an American League team, highlighted by Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, loaded with Yankees and Red Sox.

Balloting for the All-Star game ended Wednesday and the official results will be announced Sunday. All starters mentioned in the report led in fan voting as of June 30.

The report may be premature since Webb is scheduled to pitch Tuesday against the Nationals and then again next Sunday in Arizona's last game against the Phillies before the All-Star break. If Webb pitches next Sunday, he would likely not pitch at all in the All-Star game.

"It would probably be difficult (for Webb to pitch in the All-Star game), but you never know," Arizona manager Bob Melvin told the East Valley Tribune in Arizona. "We'll see where we're at. We'll see how many pitches he throws (against the Phillies) and so forth."

If Webb doesn't pitch, the honor could fall to Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez, San Francisco's Tim Lincecum or Arizona's Dan Haren.

The Yankees' Rodriguez will start at third base and Derek Jeter at shortstop for the American League, according to the Post. Defending champion Boston's starters will include Kevin Youkilis at first, Dustin Pedroia at second and Manny Ramirez in left field.

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz also got the most votes at his position, but won't play because of a wrist injury.

Cliff Lee, who had to fight for a job in Cleveland's rotation this spring, will be the starting pitcher for the AL, the Post reported. Lee is 11-1 with a 2.26 ERA.

Also starting for the American League: Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki in center, Texas' Josh Hamilton in right and Minnesota's Joe Mauer behind the plate.

Suzuki was barely leading the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero and Yankees' Bobby Abreu for the final outfield spot in the voting as of June 30.

Houston's Lance Berkman will start at first for the National League. Philadelphia's Chase Utley got the nod at second, Atlanta's Chipper Jones will play third and Florida's Hanley Ramirez narrowly beat out Miguel Tejada of the Astros at shortstop.

The outfield will consist of Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs in left, teammate Kosuke Fukudome in center and Cincinnati's Ken Griffey Jr. in right. The Cubs' Geovany Soto will be the starting catcher.

Boston's Terry Francona will manage the AL and Colorado's Clint Hurdle the NL. Each manager chooses his pitching staffs and reserves.

The All-Star game will be July 15 in Yankee Stadium.


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