Cheap Seats

Westbrook likely out for the season

Jake Westbrook, 1-4 with a 5.79 earned run average since signing a contract extension a month ago, has a strained oblique and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

I guess sometimes you don't get what you pay for.

Westbrook apparently injured his side in his last inning of work during a terrible performance Saturday against the Brewers in which he was lucky to only allow three runs in five innings after being battered with seven hits and four walks allowed. So he couldn't even blame his lousy outing on the injury.

But if he did, it would have been pretty tough to believe.

In his last two weeks of action, Wesbrook has pitched 15 1/3 innings in which opponents batted .409 against him. During that time his ERA is 7.04.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told the media Sunday that, while he'll throw another simulated game tomorrow in San Diego, injured ace Chris Carpenter isn't ready to assume Westbrook's vacant rotation slot. Candidates to fill the hole include Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Lance Lynn.

If Carpenter pitches well Tuesday, I'm guessing the Birds will let Miller make the start. The club expressed some interest in allowing Miller at least one start when he was called up Sept. 1. So this would seem like an ideal opportunity to give him one shot and then, hopefully, slide Carp in a week and a half from now.

If Carpenter doesn't seem ready, the Cardinals seem likely to reinstate Lance Lynn into the starting rotation. Lynn seemed like he needed a break when he was lifted in favor of Joe Kelly. Now he's had a break and he seems the best seasoned to do the job on a long term basis.

And while the Redbirds are figuring that out... I'm going to sit here and scratch my head over why the Cardinals offered so much money to such a mediocre pitcher and contemplate life with another year of his inconsistency.

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