Exit Interview: Jake Westbrook

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Name: Jake Westbrook

Season stats: 7-8, 4.63 ERA, 21 games, 116.2 IP, 132 H, 50 BB, 44 K, 1.56 WHIP

Hero/Goat: Hero 5, Goat 8

Overall grade: B-

Positives: It’s somewhat hard to remember, but Westbrook started off the season about as strongly as any Cardinal pitcher.  In his first six starts before making a trip to the disabled list, he was 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA.  Even as late as July 24, his ERA was under 3.00.  Plus, he had some really good dance moves with Adam Wainwright and added a veteran presence to a bunch of young kids.

Negatives: From July 29 until the end of the season, Westbrook had a 0-4 record and an ERA very close to 10.  Of course, when you walk more than you strike out, the tightrope you are walking is eventually going to collapse.  A starting pitcher with a WHIP of 1.5 isn’t going to be a starting pitcher for long.

Outlook: The Cardinals bought out the option year of Westbrook’s contract and he’s a free agent.  It seems difficult to imagine he’d make someone else’s squad, but he might get a minor league invite somewhere.  Westbrook wasn’t perfect in St. Louis by any means, but they got some decent innings out of him on the whole.  Plus he’ll always be the answer to a trivia question–the winner of 2011 World Series Game 6.

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