Friday, December 4, 2009

Indians Westbrook takes form in second winter league outing

It's not taking long for Jake Westbrook to regain the form that made him a mainstay in the Indians starting rotation from 2001-2007. The 6'3" righthander looked much better in his second outing for manager Eduardo Perez' Leones de Ponce of the Puerto Rican winter league. Westbrook went three full innings, giving up four hits while striking out two. Westbrook didn't walk a batter, but did give up one run.

Westbrook forced five ground ball outs and two fly outs, to go along with his two K's in the game, which again shows that the bulldog righthander is pitching to his strengths early on in his rehab. Obviously, it's much too premature to say that Westbrook is a lock to be a solid starter for the Indians, but he's painfree and painting corners. Not a bad way to start the season.

Westbrook is vital to the Indians having any chance of being competitive this season. The Indians have no viable options for their #1 starter position, and some would correctly say that Westbrook is overmatched as the ace of the staff. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you're a glass half full kinda guy), he's currently the best that the Indians have who is major league ready.

It's believed that Westbrook will make two to three more starts, and of course, stay aboard the starship B3 for winter league updates as we get them.

Make sure that you check out Tony Lastoria's Indians Prospect Insider over the winter. With the Indians out of the market, the minor league happenings will be the central focus for the Tribe until February. Look for more minor league news to roll out soon enough, with Tribe management still hemming and hawing about a potential PTBNL. We've also got the Rule V draft in six days, which will more than likely be uneventful.

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