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9/29/1977 (39 y, 5 m, 25 d)
1996 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 21, Overall: 21, Team: Colorado Rockies
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Westbrook has decided to retire, Rob Rains of StL Sports Page reports. (2/14/2014)
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Last year made Jake Westbrook look like another Dave Duncan special, and I'm not sure anybody should be surprised by this development. Overall, Westbrook was 10-11 with a 4.22 ERA and an identical FIP, but after a mid-season trade from Cleveland to St.Louis, Westbrook posted a 3.48 ERA with a 3.52 FIP. Of course, that's only 75 innings, but Dave Duncan's trademark -- a high ground-ball rate -- was present. After the trade, Westbrook's ground-ball rate ballooned from 53% to 62%, which, along with his roughly average K/BB rates, resulted in an excellent home-run rate of only 0.6 per nine innings. Westbrook will be 33 for almost the entire 2011 season, so he has reached the point where we begin to worry about his ability to eat up innings, particularly since he only threw 34.2 innings in 2008 and 2009 combined. However, we can expect good things when he's on the field. Repeating the 3.50 ERA we saw at the end last year might be a bit much, and the Cardinals have downgraded their infield defense, but an ERA in the 3.80-3.90 range (and the suitable amount of wins) should be possible for the Duncanized Westbrook, with a decent WHIP and average K numbers. (Jack Moore)
The Quick Opinion:
Merely the latest Dave Duncan special. Look for another decent year out of Westbrook: high-3.00s ERA, double-digit wins, and average WHIP/K numbers.
With the return of Adam Wainwright to the rotation, the possible signing of Roy Oswalt, the presence of Lance Lynn already in the Major League bullpen, and top prospect Shelby Miller knocking at the door, Westbrook is not exactly on the surest ground with respect to his spot in the rotation. He seems healthy, having made 30 or more starts for the first time in back-to-back seasons since 2005-2006, but he’s struggling to keep runners off base, which makes his double-digit home run per fly ball rate all the more painful. There’s just too little upside here: medium-high ERA, decent WHIP, and an unstable spot in the rotation. Look elsewhere. (Dan Wade)
The Quick Opinion:
Westbrook's starting role on the Cardinals is in jeopardy with a possible crowd at the number five spot. If he can cut down on either his walks or his home runs -- or better yet, both -- he’ll be in much better shape, but as it stands now, his spot is extremely vulnerable. There are less risky picks out there with more upside.
Thanks to an August contract extension, Westbrook will remain in the Cardinals rotation for 2013. Prior to a late-season oblique injury, Westbrook was the same guy he's been since returning from Tommy John surgery in 2010. He doesn't miss many bats, but like a typical Dave Duncan disciple, he gets ground balls like crazy (over 55 percent each of the last three years) -- enough to make him a roughly league average pitcher. Unfortunately, his contact-heavy ways make him an iffy fantasy pitcher -- too few strikeouts (5.5 per nine innings in 2012) and too many hits (over 9.8 per nine innings each of the last two years) to be an all-around contributor in standard leagues. (Jack Moore)
The Quick Opinion:
Westbrook should remain the same Dave Duncan special he's been since returning from Tommy John surgery in 2010 -- a lot of contact, a lot of ground balls, and a mediocre fantasy option thanks to few strikeouts.
Westbrook has been able to remain a major league starter for just shy of a decade thanks to an elite ground-ball rate and, at times, above average control. But he hasn't been much of a fantasy option at any point during that stretch thanks to an inability to strike batters out. Last year that weakness became even more pronounced as Westbrook saw his strikeout rate fall into single digits (8.4%). The career low strikeout rate was coupled with a career high walk rate, and he actually walked more batters than he struck out. It was an easy choice for the Cardinals to buy out his $9.5 million option for just $1 million. It should be an easy choice for major league general managers to pass on Westbrook this offseason, too. But if someone gives him a spot in their rotation, it should be an even easier choice for the fantasy owner to pass on him. (
The Quick Opinion:
Westbrook has never been anything more than an innings eater. To fantasy owners he's never been more than an occasional spot starter for the owner who is chasing wins. This year he's unlikely to be either of those things.
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Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:38 AM ET
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