Jake Westbrook
Jake Westbrook
41-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Jake Westbrook in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Agreed to a one-year extension with the Cardinals in August of 2012, a deal that includes a mutual option for 2014.
Jake Westbrook: Decides To Retire
PFree Agent  
February 14, 2014
Westbrook has decided to retire, Rob Rains of StL Sports Page reports.
ANALYSIS
The 36-year-old went into the offseason preparing to return for a 14th major league campaign, but did not receive enough interest from teams to warrant continuing his playing career. Westbrook posted a sub-4.00 ERA in just two of his final eight seasons, but he does have an All-Star selection on his belt as well as a World Series championship.
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Westbrook looks to be near the end of his career as a disappointing 2013 saw him lose his rotation spot and have his 2014 option declined by the Cardinals. His 4.95 xFIP suggests his already high 4.63 ERA should have been higher. Westbrook attempted to switch to a cut fastball this season but it provided the same results as his walk rate was high again (3.9 BB/9) in 2013. Injuries this season and disappointing results have led Westbrook to contemplate retirement. It's possible he could catch on as a fifth starter somewhere, but it's unlikely he'll rebound to the point where fantasy owners will get excited about him again.
The improvement in Westbrook's walk rate - from a career-worst 3.6 BB/9 in 2011 to 2.7 last year - helps explain the decent ERA, but his strikeout rate isn't going to get it done in the long term. Still, with 25 wins in his last two years, he has a little fantasy value, and his 16 quality starts last year indicate he can go on extended runs that will help fantasy teams. You can do worse for a buck.
Somehow Westbrook was able to win 12 games last year, but his record was certainly not supported anywhere in his numbers. He's hittable, has a low strikeout rate, and he walked a career-high 73 last year. With Albert Pujols in Los Angeles and Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday getting another year older, Westbrook may not get the run support he had in 2011. A correction is coming.
The three-way trade that brought Westbrook to the Cardinals and sent Ryan Ludwick to San Diego was considered by many members of Cardinal Nation to be the turning point in a disappointing season. That wasn't Westbrook's fault, who actually pitched pretty well in his 12 starts with St. Louis: 3.48 ERA, 1.253 WHIP and a sparkling 3.33 G/F ratio. He's not really that good, but the Cardinals signed him to a two-year contract in November nonetheless. He'll be the third or fourth pitcher in the rotation this year, but don't break the bank going after him expecting more than the career-high 6.6 K/9IP he displayed after the trade to the National League.
Westbrook hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008 after his recovery from Tommy John surgery had enough complications to not risk further damage in a lost season for Cleveland. He pitched in Puerto Rico over the winter in an effort to be ready to hit the ground running when spring training gets started and the Indians are hoping he can answer the bell on Opening Day. He's always pitched to contact and does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground, but it's hard to see him having a big year in front of a rebuilding Indians squad. He's in the last year of a three-year contract and could be shipped out in the middle of the season if he's healthy and the Indians don't feel like they'd get his name on a new contract at a discount.
Westbrook was an early season fantasy surprise before hitting the shelf with a back strain after just four starts, came back and promptly injured his elbow after just one start and was forced to have Tommy John surgery that will sideline him for at least half of 2009. He's a decent staff filler in deep leagues when fully healthy but offers little upside and certainly shouldn't be counted on for much of anything in 2009.
An oblique strain wiped out most of May and June before he caught fire in August (1.90 ERA, 0.984 WHIP in 42 innings), doing his best Fausto Carmona impression. He's by no means a fantasy ace, but you could do worse than a groundball-inducing, middle-of-the-rotation starter for one of the AL's elite teams. Whatever mess he hands off to a reliever should be erased by an elite bullpen on most nights, and he'll enter the season as Cleveland's third starter behind C.C. Sabathaia and Fausto Carmona.
After a horrible April, Westbrook was actually the Tribe's most consistent starter, in terms of taking the rubber every fifth day and delivering a quality start. His numbers in both halves of the season were nearly identical, but if you strip out April, Westbrook would have an ERA a shade over 4.00, with at least two less losses. There's little reason to think he won't continue to post 13-15 wins with an ERA around four.
Westbrook may have suffered the most from losing a defensive stalwart like Omar Vizquel on the Indians. His past two seasons were very close to identical, only he added a point to the ERA and six losses. He's an extreme groundball pitcher who went even further to the extreme in 2005, recording 432 ground outs to just 138 fly outs. That means he needs a strong defense behind him to be successful. Expected sophomore improvement from Jhonny Peralta could boost Westbrook quite a bit.
The former Yankees pitching prospect broke out for the Indians in 2004. After splitting time between the bullpen and starting rotation for several years with the Indians, Westbrook found a permanent place starting last season. Although he does not have an overpowering fastball or strikeout many, he has the ability to work the inner half of the plate, which is complimented with his nasty breaking ball. He will be a part of one of the youngest and talented starting rotations in the league. Because he doesn't strike out as many hitters as the other top starters in the league, Westbrook relies heavily upon the double-play ball. He was fifth in the majors in that category, coaxing out 29 double plays in 2004.
Westbrook is a finesse, groundball pitcher who walks too many, not a good combination to have. A strong September may a go long way to securing a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Is it us, or has Jake Westbrook been around since the Cuban Missile Crisis? For some reason (NY hype), Jake has been mentioned in may circles as a top-flight pitcher, but we're not seeing it. He does not walk anyone, does not strike a lot of people out, just knows how to put your bat on his thrown ball (144 H in 113 career IP). At least Cleveland has the right idea to use the 25-year-old in relief and spare us all the banter.
More Fantasy News
PSt. Louis Cardinals  
October 31, 2013
The Cardinals have declined Westbrook's club option for 2014, MLB.com reports.
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PSt. Louis Cardinals  
September 29, 2013
Westbrook pitched one inning Sunday, giving up one hit.
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PSt. Louis Cardinals  
September 6, 2013
Westbrook (back) was activated from the disabled list Friday, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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PSt. Louis Cardinals  
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September 4, 2013
Westbrook completed an extended bullpen session Tuesday and might be ready to return from the disabled list when he's first eligible Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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PSt. Louis Cardinals  
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August 31, 2013
Westbrook (back) threw his second bullpen session of the week Friday, MLB.com reports.
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