Cheap Seats

February 8, 2014

Is this the end for former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook

Cheap Seats

Looking at the Cards from a fan's perspective

I'm a little bit surprised that former St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook hasn't found some sort of a job with less than a week to go before the start of spring training next week.

I've never really been a fan. But Westbrook has won more than 100 games in the major leagues and he's only one season removed from his best year as a Cardinals hurler. I'd think SOMEBODY would be willing to at least offer him a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training.

The fact that he hasn't accepted such a deal makes me wonder if my suspicions about him were true.

When I watched him work last season, his body language and deliberate pace just generally gave me the impression was that he was a guy who didn't want to be there. 

He made -- I refuse to say "earned" -- nearly $71 million as a major league pitcher. Did he decide he had enough cash and that he didn't have the desire to travel and compete anymore? Or did he sense that he was losing his stuff and didn't have the ability to get major league hitters out anymore? Maybe it was both.

Focus has always been a thing that seemed to fluctuate for Westbrook. He'd have a couple of better than expected games. And, just when it seemed like he earned a little bit of confidence, he'd go out to the mound and just totally stink up the place. I've never been convinced that he lived and died by his on the field performance like a lot of other players.

I guess I shouldn't be shocked that Westbrook would give it up at 36 years old. But he's never been an overpowering pitcher, so there's no reason to believe he couldn't continue if he wanted to. What is undeniably shocking is that he's made so much money to be a .505 pitcher with a 4.32 ERA pitcher over 13 years.

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About Cheap Seats

Scott Wuerz has reported for the Belleville News-Democrat since 1998​. He writes about the St. Louis Cardinals from a fan's perspective in his Cheap Seats blog.

Contact him at swuerz@bnd.com.

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