Jake Westbrook knows exactly what he wants, and that's a return to St. Louis.
"If they had interest, I've definitely enjoyed my time here," Westbrook told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . "I've gotten to know the guys well. The organization is definitely one that everybody knows about, that I've certainly heard a lot about, and now, firsthand, I've gotten to see that everybody was right."
The Cardinals acquired Westbrook from the Indians at the trade deadline before going into a swoon that took the Cards out of the postseason race. That's no indictment on the righty, however, as he's put up a 3.88 ERA in 11 starts for his new team. Overall, his 2010 season has seen Westbrook make 32 starts of 195 innings, posting a 4.38 ERA. Not too shabby for someone who missed all of 2009 and made just five starts in 2008.
"I wanted to make every start and try to accumulate all of the innings I could, to try to get over that 200-inning threshold," said Westbrook, who will make his final start of the season Friday. "I'm close. That was my goal. If you can make every start and get to that 200 innings or around it, that means you're in a lot of ballgames, you're giving your team a chance to win. That's all you can ask for as a starting pitcher [when] healthy. I've been able to do that this year, and my arm feels great."
The Cardinals have been fans of Westbrook for a while, and pitching guru Dave Duncan is making no secret that he wants the 33-year-old who had a birthday Wednesday to return. The Cardinals have to watch their wallet, however, with Matt Holliday making megabucks, Albert Pujols in line for the biggest deal in baseball history and rising price tags for Adam Wainwright and down the road, Colby Rasmus.
-- Evan Brunell
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