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Jake Westbrook Cardinals Debut Checklist

Jake Westbrook makes his first start as a Cardinal tonight, and I thought it'd be worthwhile to take a look at the state of Jake Westbrook prior to his Dave Duncan Magic Infusion.


Westbrook 2010 is pretty samey for a guy who spent much of 2008 and all of 2009 recovering from elbow surgery. The Fangraphs stats are extremely unenlightening; His fastball is the same 90-ish it's always been; his pitch selection is pretty similar aside from Fangraphs increasingly seeing what he's throwing around 80 miles per hour as a slider, and not a changeup.  


What Duncan and Westbrook will be working on is his groundball ratio, which peaked when his career did—after years of 1.52, 1.73, 1.59, and 1.63 from 2003 to 2006 he fell to 1.19 in 2007 and sits at 1.16 in 2010. That's still well above the league average, but for the Cardinals to rid me of my Ryan Ludwick blues he'll need to do better than that.